Jim and Carlea Bridger

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Q: How did you meet?
 Carlea and Jim:
Jim and I met 19 years ago on a blind date, set up by mutual friends.  When we met, we knew it was meant to be as we both had the same goals and outlook on what we wanted in life and we were married a year later.  Jim worked as a Transit driver for 31 years and I worked for the Provincial government for 36 years. Once retired, Jim bought himself a muscle car to restore and fix up, a dream that he has wanted to accomplish since he was young.  After I retired, I was able to spend more time sewing for myself as well as volunteering my sewing services for the seniors in various care homes.  We love spending time with 2 granddaughters, ages 4 and 2, they are such a treasure in our lives.  We spend most summers up at Honeymoon Bay, just outside Cowichan Bay, where we have a trailer and enjoy getting together with our lake friends for golfing and happy hours.

Q: How do you practice love for each other?
Carlea and Jim: Jim and I both grew up with parents who instilled good morals and values, such as respecting others and treating people the way you want to be treated.  One value, was never take each other for granted, just by saying “thank you” to each other even if its something we do for each other on a daily basis.  Being there for each other is important to us whether attending appointments or an exercise class, and holding hands whenever we are out and about, it gives us that tender feeling of love.  Both of us value the type of love and respect our parents had and we try to emulate what they had and they both had 50 years and up together!. 

Q: Why is LOVE and Parkinson's disease important?
 Carlea and Jim:
When Jim was diagnosed, it certainly was a shock, something Jim never would of believed it would happen to him.  With this new life change, it was daunting to say the least, as well as feeling isolated as no one else we knew had PD.  I didn’t want Jim to feel alone during his journey, so I did whatever I could to find out everything about PD, referencing books, on-line studies and the people through the Parkinson’s Programs.  One of the biggest things for us was not to forget that we are a couple, and that doesn’t change.  We problem solve together whatever life is giving us on a daily basis, we don’t focus on fixing Parkinson’s we focus on how to live with it so we can enjoy life.
 
Q: What does PWP mean to you?
 Carlea and Jim:
For both of us, PWP was a real “light bulb” moment.  Anyone can read on-line about PD, watch Youtube videos or read books, which all were very helpful to us, but when we joined PWP, we met so many amazing people, all with their own stories of their journey, but once Jim realized everyone else shared the same challenges, whether it be emotionally or physically, he no longer felt alone.  We both look forward to our exercise classes and meeting up with our PD family, we have fun participating with everyone and try to make it a fun time,  we are all so fortunate to have the PWP, life would be very different for us if it wasn’t for the PWP.