An interview with Mariam Bennouna from Living My Parkinson’s on August 18, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
I’m 40, married and a proud mom of Hamza. I am originally from Morocco but living in London for almost 10 years now. I have 15 years of Marketing experience in multinational companies. I was diagnosed with Parkinson diseuse at the age of 28. I’m a super-positive, super-energetic, resilient and mindful person.
Please tell me a little about your background and what got you involved with awareness.
Aside from my symptoms which I try to manage as good as I can, Parkinson’s taught me a lot of life lessons and brought me many positive opportunities. It taught me how to be resilient, how to see the light in the darkness, and how to see the good in the bad. Simply put, PARKINSON’S HAS CHANGED THE WAY I LOOK AT LIFE !
Can you tell me more about your advocacy?
I’m the founder and creator of the digital platform called Living My Parkinson, which I created to support young people diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Today, Parkinson is such an integral part of my life, that I don’t say ”I have Parkinson’s”. I say ”I’m living My Parkinson”, and that is where the name ‘’Living My Parkinson’’ came from.
You can read my full story about Parkinson’s at https://www.mariambennounalifecoach.com/livingmyparkinson
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
I decided to study Life Coaching at the International Coaching Institute in Geneva.
I got certified and experienced in Life transitions, Professional reconversions, Time management, Stress management, Emotions management, Speaking in public, Work/Life balance, Procrastination and much more.
I also became a Mental Health Coach specialized in helping people with Parkinson’s disease and their families. Because I was diagnosed at the age of 28, I know what it is like to struggle with this disease starting that early in life. With my 12 years of living with Parkinson’s, I have the capacity to help people develop coping strategies, manage their symptoms, and find a new balance in their life. I believe that everyone has the potential to live a happy and fulfilling life, regardless of their circumstances.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s awareness have when working with you?
Be informed of what is and what is not Parkinson’s disease. Enhance their mental strength, their self-confidence level, stress-management skills… Be aware about their symptoms and accept them. Be informed about the potential evolution of the symptoms. Decide on a physical therapy to improve their quality of life. Build personalized coping strategies to manage their symptoms and continue enjoying their life.
What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s awareness?
Being coached by a coach who shares the same condition as yours is priceless, because he/she can perfectly understand your specific needs and challenges and offer you a coaching package tailored to your specific needs and goals.
- Increased self-awareness and self-confidence.
- Improved communication and relationship skills.
- Enhanced problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
- Greater resilience and coping mechanisms.
- Increased motivation and productivity.
- Reduced stress and anxiety.
- Improved overall quality of life.
What type of training and how long are the programs?
A usual coaching cycle takes around 6 to 8 weeks to have efficient results at the end of it.
However, for Parkinson disease, the coaching cycle is recommended to last between 3 months to 12 months. This is because of the complexity of the impact that the disease can have on every one of us!
What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?
My ultimate motive is to empower people to live their best lives, regardless of their circumstances.
What events do you participate in?
Online 1 to 1 coaching and group coaching sessions.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
Caregivers are interested in this program because they can learn quicker and better about how to cope with someone with Parkinson’s. For example, have a look at some posts I published addressing caregivers:
- When caring about someone with Parkinson’s, you may not think of yourself as a hero. BUT YOU ARE!
- 7 Ways to Help Your Loved One with Parkinson disease
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson community, what would it be?
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!