Linda Silver: Refusing To Let Parkinson’s Control My Life

An interview with Linda Silver: Refusing To Let Parkinson’s Control My Life on May 15, 2024.



I have always been an artist, ever since I can remember my happiest times have been creating art. My love of art carried me forward to obvious career choices: an illustrator for Hallmark Cards, a self-employed graphic designer/illustrator, and an art director for local and national companies.


Please tell me a little about your background.


I have been married for 48 years and I am a mother of two children: Joey, who is now 41 and Lori who is 38. I was born in the Bronx, New York. Over the years I have resided in Kansas City, Missouri; Anchorage, Alaska; Cleveland, Ohio but I have mostly lived in southern New Jersey.


Can you tell me more about your organization?

I have been involved with and serve on the Board of Trustees for Mission PD. Mission PD is an international organization (501c3 Non-Profit) currently with 465 members. The function of this organization is to help people with PD gain access to resources, education and fitness coaching by providing virtual and in-person support.  Its goal is to help provide the best quality of life possible for its members.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?

After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, I returned to my love of painting: color, movement, fluidity. I enjoy working on what inspires me! I hope to inspire others to follow their dreams too.


As I learned about this disease, it seemed that the best way to confront PD symptoms was directly through exercise, cognitive activity, socialization and creativity. My association with Mission PD developed as a result of this belief.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?

I have taught two art classes for Mission PD and plan to do more in the future. The goal of my classes is to show people how to have fun and make something creative that they can be proud of!


What type of training and how long are the programs?

The programs at Mission PD are approximately one hour and are offered both virtually and in-person. As a member I enjoy these programs and think they’re all great! If you can’t make a scheduled live class, you can always make use of the pre-recorded video library. (Since I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I have never exercised so much in my life!)


What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?

We know that exercise is an integral component to fighting Parkinson’s, but so is socialization and feeling part of a community. You can always go to Mission PD’s community page, where you can chat with someone or even contact someone by phone. You never have to feel isolated.  We offer each other positivity and support in so many ways.


What events do you participate in?

I try to get involved in as much as I can. I have participated in the following classes many times:

Improv For PD

Dance For Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery


Rock Steady Boxing

Tai Chi Chih

Yoga Meditation & Mindfulness

Voice Activated

Life Coaching

Private Exercise Training

Duo/Trio Private In-Person Training


How does this also assist the caregivers?

Caregivers are always welcome and encouraged to participate also.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?


Mission PD’s website is

(The website for my artwork i(Linda Silver Impressions) is


How can others also become advocates for awareness?
Personal communication works best. Don’t be afraid to tell others about yourself.  Ask about them and identify common ground.


In your opinion what is the key to effective advocacy?


Let people know about how prevalent this disease is and how it’s growing in the current populations around the world. Make them aware what is currently going on in Congress with HR 2365/S 1064 (better known as the National Plan to End Parkinson’s). Encourage them to write letters to Congress to advocate for its passage.


How can we better fundraise to support a cure for Parkinson’s?

Adopt new events, if possible, for educating others about Parkinson’s. Support all of the events that you can to help with the efforts.


What other activities do you undertake to help improve and support your daily living Eg exercise and alternative remedies?

I also take part in physical therapy sessions and speech therapy.


Why should people who don’t have Parkinson’s care about this? 

The rate of people being diagnosed with Parkinson’s is alarming. A new study estimates that nearly 90,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) each year.

The possibility of getting this disease or having someone in their family or their friends getting it is therefore dramatically increasing.


Have you had any family members or relatives affected by Parkinson’s disease?

Being familiar with the symptoms, I believe my mother had it though it was never officially diagnosed.


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


Do as much as you can to maintain your quality of life and remain positive.  There is real hope that this disease can be cured in the not-too-distant future.

By helping others, you help yourself!