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When Life Gives You Parkinson’s | Larry and Rebecca Gifford (ep. 492)

Larry and Rebecca Gifford

John O’Leary welcomes Larry and Rebecca Gifford 0nto the Live Inspired Podcast to share their journey in truly living in spite of Parkinson’s Disease.

Between a global pandemic, changes in financial markets, or entering new seasons of life, many of us are facing more anxiety for tomorrow than ever before.

This increased anxiety is elevated for the more than 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s Disease, their caregivers and their families.

Today, Larry and Rebecca Gifford, hosts of the acclaimed When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast, share how they’re navigating the disease, raising awareness and giving a voice to others facing similar challenges. Much like my parents, this married couple refuses to let a lifelong degenerative condition stifle their lives and instead uses it as an excuse to begin truly living.

If you or someone you love needs courage, hope and reason to believe that the best is yet to come, this conversation is for you.

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  • Nearly two decades ago while at very different stages of life, Larry and Rebecca met in Ohio after Rebecca was finishing cancer treatments.
  • By cultivating a relationship with her inner self, Rebecca learned how to face the unclear adversities of life.
  • What does today hold? After his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Larry had to process the emotions and thoughts, often negative, before he was able to plan a new outlook on the future.
  • After learning that resisting the disease gave it power, Rebecca taught Larry how to accept, embrace and make Parkinson’s part of their life.
  • Cyclical grief process: Because of Parkinson’s degenerative nature, care partners often feel that they’re continually losing pieces of their partner cogitatively, emotionally and physically.
  • To manage the inevitable bad days, Rebecca calls upon on her toolbox of tactics which include meditation, laughter and relying on her trusted network.
  • The gift that keeps on taking: It’s okay to accept the fact that something is no longer a strength of yours. You can improve it once you have the awareness of it and you can mourn that you don’t have that ability anymore.
  • Learn more about PD Avengers, the global alliance to end Parkinson’s here.
  • Learn more about Larry and Rebecca Gifford’s podcast When Life Gives You Parkinson’s here.

Did you enjoy today’s episode?

You’ll love my conversation with Scott Hamilton. As perhaps the most recognizable male figure skater in the world, Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton delivers uplifting encouragement for us to get back up one more time and continue forward as a champion. Hear my conversation with Scott Hamilton on ep. 68.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. Rebecca: Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown.   Hear my conversation with Brené Brown on ep. 103.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Larry: Innocence and giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Rebecca: My journal.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Larry: Benjamin Franklin and my dad, who has passed.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Rebecca: Your authentic self is good enough.  
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Larry: Stop racing into the future and enjoy the now.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. Rebecca: She contributed good to the world, was kind, compassionate, a good partner and a good mother. Larry: Dedicated husband and father. Helped to end Parkinson’s forever.