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St. Jude Radiothon 2024

Muhammad Ali found a reward greater than any championship belt or medal, when he married Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams on November 19, 1986.

At the time, he had already been diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome. Later that diagnosis was changed to Parkinson’s disease, which meant Muhammad’s condition would progressively worsen as time went on. Never having met anyone with Parkinson’s disease, Lonnie felt alone. There was no one for her to talk to who was in a similar situation.

Admittedly, she’s learned a lot about caregiving throughout the years–all the way up until Ali’s death. She says knowing more beforehand would have made life easier for her and her husband and is eager to help anyone caring for a loved one. Here’s her 10 tips for caregivers:

10. Educate yourself and your family. Learn all you can all aspects of your loved one’s disease. Research causes, symptoms, long term prognosis, available treatment options, and possible new treatments that become available. Arming yourself with knowledge will enable you to anticipate and prepare for changes in behavior as well as physical, mental and emotional needs.

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