In 2023, after 18 years of living with Parkinson’s disease, Patrick Demoucelle set himself an incredible challenge: to complete an indoor triathlon. Supported by friends and family along with Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee CEO Cédric Van Branteghem, Patrick achieved his goal in less than two hours! Wearing a different Team Belgium t-shirt for each of the three stages of the DO-IT challenge, Patrick achieved a faster time than he had hoped and was delighted by his result, saying afterwards:
“No human is limited!”
He hopes to inspire others to ”dream big”.
To find out more about Patrick’s DO-IT! challenge, please click here.
Nothing is certain. At one moment you feel the wind on your face, you enjoy life, 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 early symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The assistant who had carried out the examination gave some information. “It is a degenerative disease, Mr Demoucelle. Your brain isn’t producing enough dopamine, which particularly affects the coordination of movements. Typical symptoms include a 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.” Of course, we did not celebrate my birthday. Parkinson’s turned our lives completely upside down. You don’t expect as someone in their forties to suffer from a type of “old age disease”. We struggle with it every day – but we’re not going to sit and wait. We have chosen to approach this disease with a positive attitude and to live our lives in that way.
We have made choices and taken a new path. We have set up our own business to help others how to positively approach their life and to coach them. With our book [Positif] we want to share our experience and give advice on living a positive life to a larger audience. It is not enough just to adopt a positive attitude, you also have to justify it. This book explains the building blocks with which you sustain positivity, 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 cured from Parkinson’s (yet), but because we have chosen to live positively.