At 79 years of age, Clara Majors did not know what Parkinson’s disease was.  Unfortunately for her, in July of 2017 she had to quickly learn about the disease when she was diagnosed.  She attended several Parkinson’s related conferences and at the encouragement of her doctor, she began Speech Therapy.

Clara graduated from the University of Oklahoma and spent her career working as a computer programmer.  She retired from Boeing at age 50.  She loves to keep her mind active by researching her family tree and genealogy online.  She remembers the stories her mom shared with her and she enjoys researching the history of those. 

Throughout the last three years of being a part of the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma, Clara has attended the Loud Crowd® and the Ageless Grace® exercise class. Being in the Loud Crowd® has made her voice stronger. Her Sunday School class has commented to her how they notice a different in her speech. Furthermore, she has found that walking is the most consistent and effective exercise for her.  She wears a Fitbit that tracks her sleep and tracks what is going on with her body for her. 

When you sit down and talk with Clara and her husband, Dayle, you can tell they both have a keen intellect. As each other’s biggest cheerleaders they love doing life together.  Dayle is one of her biggest motivations on her bad days.  Clara states that he is always willing to listen and always there for her.  Since Dayle has been through his own health struggles, he understands.  Clara remarked, “I have had a rough time lately because my Parkinson’s will take over. But you work your way through it.  I am blessed because things could be worse.” Both Clara and Dayle find inspiration and support from their Sunday School class. 

“Dayle and Clara exercise cheerfulness and determination in dealing with the adversity of Parkinson’s.  They encourage each other and support the cause with profound generosity as well, “  said Bruce McIntyre Executive Director of the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma. 

When asked what advice she has for others, the words Clara shared show her fighting spirit.  She encourages people to find out all the information they can and to get into a support group.  “Do not lose hope and do not dwell on the diagnosis. You need to get up and move.  Go help others with Parkinson’s.  Never be ashamed or hide your disease.  You have to learn to accept it,” Clara encourages.

Clara acknowledges that life is different with Parkinson’s as she tires more easily.  However, she stated that she is 81 so that factors in as well.  Everyone has a battle to fight.  This is just her battle.  Anyone with Parkinson Disease is exceptional she feels.   Clara Majors gives us all a great example of one of the exceptional people fighting this disease.

Authored by: Shelly Stierlen