Upbeat Grandmother Keeps Smiling – Carolyn Weaver

Carolyn Weaver, Emerald.  “I really believe that my attitude and success in life comes directly from our Amway business. It taught me so much about staying positive.”

No excuses. Despite living with Parkinson’s disease for 11 years, Carolyn Weaver is going strong. In addition to working full time as a marketing rep, she educates people about her disease, advocates for research funding, and recruits participants through her work with Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s Clinical Research Learning Institute for clinical trials to help find a cure.

Instead of using her diagnosis as an excuse to do less, she uses it as motivation to do more. And through it all, she keeps on smiling.

“When I was first diagnosed, my doctor said having a positive attitude could really help,” Carolyn says. “I said, ‘Gosh, that’s going to be easy for me!’”

Carolyn first learned about the power of positive when she started her Amway™ business at age 19. After her marriage, she and her husband continued to build the business together. “Being around such positive people was a real life changer for us,” she recalls. “We learned how to be upbeat and optimistic.”

It’s not always easy. All day every day, Carolyn must cope with constant muscle “freezing” that makes her feel as though her feet are glued to the ground. “My granddaughter, Olivia, has learned how to get me going again,” Carolyn says.

Helping find a cure

In 2008, Carolyn first started participating in clinical trials. “You have a whole team focused on you, so you learn a lot about your own disease and what you’re capable of,” Carolyn says. “The more I learned, the easier it was to cope.”

That experience led her to become a Parkinson’s educator and advocate. She works nationally and regionally, talking to support groups and encouraging others to get involved. “It’s incredible what Carolyn has accomplished in educating people about research,” says Debby Orloff, COE of Michigan Parkinson Foundation. “She has made a huge impact.”

Last year, Carolyn began working with the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on a clinical research project. “I invited their staff to come to Michigan and talk to some groups here to find more people to sign up,” she says. “They did, and they ended up registering 43 people!”

For Carolyn, living with Parkinson’s disease has helped her become the impressive woman she is today. “It’s been a wonderful journey,” she says. “That’s for sure.”

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