An interview with Navin P Kumar – Destroying his Parkinson’s daily with an active lifestyle (movie acting, table tennis and more!) on November 26, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
I was born with a rare heart condition resulting in over 20 heart surgeries, pacemaker-defibrillator and partially mechanical heart earning me the nickname of the Bionic Man of the table tennis world. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 10 years ago.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
My passion is to beat Parkinson’s daily by staying physically and mentally active along with diligently taking my medications. I stay mentally active by memorizing movie script lines and I stay physically active by physically moving on set, playing table tennis for the USA, singing, playing the violin, and dancing.
Ending Parkinson’s Disease: Navin P. Kumar – Table Tennis Champion with Parkinson’s
“Normally with Parkinson’s, you would think that would end sports careers…. But guess what? I never got that memo. My athletic career began only after Parkinson’s.” A USA medalist in table tennis, a movie actor and motivational speaker, Navin P. Kumar is living proof that people with Parkinson’s can be whoever they choose to be, if they can follow their passions and ambitions.
What events do you participate in?
Table Tennis Championship
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
Stay physically and mentally active to beat Parkinson’s daily, my friends.
Heart to Heart with Anna: The Bionic Man of Table Tennis
Navin P. Kumar is an actor who made his movie acting debut in “Attack of the Unknown” (2020), and also served as an Executive Producer for this movie, which released worldwide on 8/28/2020. Navin has a very unusual career path in which he started stage acting as far back as elementary and high schools, and later after college, but wound up focusing on a professional career playing the violin (which he has played now for many years since 1983) and singing to Bollywood-style music in the 1990s, which further developed a fearless attitude on stage and in front of the camera, and which eventually led Navin to become a motivational speaker after getting diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s Disease 6 years ago. It was this same fearless attitude that enabled Navin to now speak all over the USA as a motivational speaker while helping his audiences to maintain a positive attitude to help deal with their struggles. In addition, in spite of Parkinson’s and a mechanical heart resulting from 5 open heart surgeries from a rare congenital heart condition he was born with and survived, Navin proudly represents the USA for table tennis competing internationally as part of the USA Para Olympic Program. In December 2018, Navin won two Bronze Medals for the USA, his first ever medals competing on the international level, in table tennis at the US Open Championships in Orlando, Florida, becoming the first ever medalist with both young onset Parkinson’s Disease and Congenital Heart Disease. In October 2019, Navin represented the USA at the first ever World Table Tennis Championships for Parkinson’s in Pleasantville, New York, and Navin wound up winning his first ever medals on the international world level winning the silver medal for the USA in doubles competition and the bronze medal for the USA in singles competition. Table Tennis has helped to improve his overall general health and he hopes to inspire others to play this sport for the health benefits it offers.
Life has knocked Navin down many times, but he continues to pick himself right back up each time and defy the odds with his positive attitude and smile. Whatever Navin chooses to do in life, be it acting, competing on the world level for table tennis, motivational speaking, or his music, he chooses to do these things with the hope of making a positive impact on the lives of others. Navin’s story has been featured worldwide, with the hope of inspiring positivity, and he is known by his nickname in the table tennis world as the “Bionic Man”, due to the mechanical, electronic, and other artificial components inside him. Navin was featured in a follow-up television interview by ABC News on 1/10/2020 to document and showcase the improvement in his health, compared to his previous ABC Television Feature which aired in April 2017, thanks to table tennis, general exercise, and a positive attitude.
IMDb (2023). Navin Kumar: Biography. Retried from https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10297504/bio/?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm