A lot has changed for Marlene since 2019. After 20 years in the medical field as a diagnostic ultrasound technician, she retired in April 2021. The last year of her career looked a lot different than she expected because of the Covid pandemic. The pandemic helped her come to a final decision to retire, something that she was planning for and anticipating. “I knew the time was right,” Marlene said.
After retiring, Marlene quickly filled her time with activities she loves, like gardening, cooking, and traveling. Her and Jack finally got to take a long overdue and twice postponed diving trip to the Caribbean. The trip had been Marlene’s dream for the last five years since getting her dive certificate. But a breast cancer diagnosis at that time meant she had to delay any further diving until after treatment.
Shortly after, Marlene was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Then came the pandemic and her dream trip was once again postponed. So when the opportunity to spend two weeks in the Caribbean came together this fall, Marlene wasn’t going to pass it up. “I’m going to get out and dive again,” she thought.
When she’s not traveling or enjoying her hobbies, Marlene and Jack spend time on their forested property outside of the Portland area to camp, clear the land and hike, kind of like “homesteaders.” She says it feels like “family and heartwarming” to be there, outside, visiting safely with others in the pandemic.
Marlene says, “I don’t think about my PD often, but I’m always aware of it. I’m always challenging myself to keep it at bay as long as possible.” She takes the opportunity to learn new things, like teaching herself how to sew and crochet. Marlene also works out consistently five days a week. She said exercise is one of most important things in her life, even before her PD diagnosis.
Marlene also committed fully to the Brian Grant Foundation Program Advisory Committee (PAC). Marlene wanted to give back in a way to help others who are living with Parkinson’s. She said she’s excited to be a part of PAC to help provide suggestions and guidance and to be involved in events and fundraisers.
To learn more about Marlene’s fundraising efforts, read Meet Marlene: Rockstar Fundraiser for BGF here.