WILLIAMSTON, Mich. (WLNS) — This past year, Toni Talbot wrote a children’s book about a brain disorder she’s lived with for more than a decade.
Toni was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at just 46 years old.
“It’s been slow to show itself so for 15 years I’ve been dealing with this but [the] last few years have been the most difficult right now,” Talbot said.
The grandmother of four said her disease got in the way of her career.
“I had my own company called Human Resource Management Services which I sold because of my Parkinson’s,” Talbot said.
She said her inspiration for this book called, “My Nunna Has Parkinson’s: Teaching Young Children about Parkinson’s Disease,” came from a moment she had with her grandson.
“My grandson came up to me just as I was having a real bad – I call them spells – and he got really scared and ran away from me,” Talbot said.
Talbot was experiencing some symptoms of her Parkinson’s in front of her grandson.
“He looked at me and he goes ‘Nunna why are you… What’s wrong with you?’ ” said Talbot. “I pulled him aside and I told him Nunna has Parkinson’s. It’s a disease she can’t do anything about.”
After that moment, Talbot said she dreamt about publishing a book about the disorder.
So, last fall she started writing.
“It just came from my heart. I just knew what I had to say and it was almost like I was predestined to do this for some reason,” she said.
Talbot based the book on that experience with her grandson, but the main character has a bit of all her grandkids in him.
“He’s got Felix’s hair. He’s got Evette’s eyes. He’s got Luna’s nose, and Kaiden’s smile,” continued Talbot.
The book walks through what Parkinson’s is and the different ways Talbot copes with her disease.
This includes activities she does in her day-to-day life, like playing cards with her husband.
It took her a year to write and self-publish the book, she hopes her and her grandson’s story can help other families understand this complex brain disorder as well.
“My goal is to get them in the hands of people who want them and who need them for their grandkids,” Talbot said.
Though Parkinson’s Disease does not have a cure, Talbot said she does not let it define her.
“She may have Parkinson’s, but Parkinson’s doesn’t have her,” Talbot read from her book.