Nothing is sure. At one moment you’re proudly facing the wind, you enjoy, you feel happy … and then something turns your life completely upside down and there is no balance anymore.
My fortieth birthday wasn’t looking so good. The results of the nuclear magnetic resonance scan that I had undergone, showed that I had the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The assistant who had carried out the study gave some explanation. “It is a degenerative disease, Mr Demoucelle. Your brains isn’t producing enough dopamine, which especially affects the coordination of movements. Typical symptoms include tremor, slowness and stiffness. Since it is a degenerative disease, your condition will not improve. So far there is no cure. Normally this is a disease of old age, it is rare in people of your age. While you can’t die of Parkinson’s disease, the mortality rate in patients with Parkinson’s is three times higher than other people.” Useless to say that we were not going to celebrate my birthday. Parkinson took our existence completely upside down. You don’t expect as a young forties to suffer from that “old age disease”. We struggle with it every day – but we’re not going to sit and wait. We chose to approach this disease from a positive perspective and live our lives in that direction.
We have made choices and taken a new path. We have set up our own business to also show others how to positively tackle your life and to coach them. With this book [Positif] we want to share our experience and give advice to live a positive life to a larger audience. It is not enough just to adopt a positive attitude, you also have to justify it decently. This book explains the building blocks with which you sustain positivism, and how you do it.
Meanwhile, my fiftieth birthday is coming and this time we do plan to have champagne popping and make it a big event. Not because I’m not cured from Parkinson’s (yet), but because we have chosen to live positively.