ST. PAUL, Minn. – Former NASA astronaut Michael “Rich” Clifford is calling on fellow patients with Parkinson’s disease not to let the disease drive what they do. Clifford’s inspiring story and advice for patients is featured as the cover story in the latest issue of Neurology Now®, the American Academy of Neurology’s award-winning magazine for patients and caregivers.
Clifford was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1994 during the early stages of the disease, but he didn’t allow it to keep him from climbing aboard the shuttle Atlantis and rocketing off into space for the third time. “My NASA medical community knew about my Parkinson’s and assumed I wouldn’t want to fly again,” said Clifford. “But I said ‘no, no, no.’”
Until recently, no one other than NASA medical staff and senior management knew how extraordinary his third flight to space had been because Clifford had kept his newly diagnosed medical condition private. “I didn’t want to be identified as the man with Parkinson’s flying in space. Plus, I felt the focus should be on the mission, not someone on the mission,” said Clifford.
Clifford says he feels the same optimism today as he did when he was first diagnosed with the disease 18 years ago and hopes other Parkinson’s patients do too. “Don’t let Parkinson’s drive what you want to do. Remember that you’re in charge of your future.”
Learn more about Clifford’s story, including the Public Leadership in Neurology Award he is receiving this year from the American Academy of Neurology Foundation, in the latest issue of Neurology Now in print, online at www.neurologynow.com, and new for the iPad®. Plus, find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.http://www.aan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. About Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) is a leading international publisher of trusted content delivered in innovative ways to practitioners, professionals and students to learn new skills, stay current on their practice, and make important decisions to improve patient care and clinical outcomes. LWW is part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company with 2011 annual revenues of €3.4 billion ($4.7 billion). Contact: Robert Dekker Vice President, Communications Wolters Kluwer Health +1 (215) 521-8928 Robert.Dekker@wolterskluwer.com Connie Hughes Director, Marketing Communications Wolters Kluwer Health Medical Research +1 (646) 674-6348 Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com