Holly Robinson Peete's Experience With Parkinson's Disease

Holly Robinson Peete's Experience With Parkinson's Disease

Since the revelation that Robin Williams was in early stages of Parkinson’s Disease when he took his life, there has been much speculation linking his depression and past substance abuse to the disease. Holly Robinson Peete opens up on Access Hollywood Live about her personal experience with Parkinson’s. How did her father’s diagnosis affect her family? What are some of the keys to dealing with the disease? And, which celebrities with Parkinson’s has she had a connection with through her HollyRod Foundation?

. Get the interview. Get the Mike. You know what to do. No interview left behind. Wow! Robin Williams doing what he did best in one of our many interview with the revelation that robin was in early stages of Parkinson's when he took his life. Much much speculation linking depression and substance abuse to the disease. Holly knows about Parkinson's personally her father Matthew Robinson succumbed to the disease. Holly welcome. Thank you. Gla great to have me so sad but I think it's a great opportunity to talk about this disease and give people hope living with, tremendous lives with Parkinson's. I just saw you at your event recently and talked about your dad. Right. You talked about just of how that was for you when ovs first diagnosed and what you went through as a family and how -- tell because!bustell because that. Well I was a freshman in college. This was in the 80's. Telling my age. But my father was diagnosed with Parkinson's during a time pre-michaduring a time pre-michael J fox. Pre-mohammad Ali no. One really leading the charge. It was a very dark time. There was no internet. No Google. Had to good to the library all I saw was neurological and incurable. Cut to decades later we have Michael J fox and Mohammad Ali and so many amazing people who live so well with Parkinson's. I think when my father got diagnosed I was kind of lost. But we ended up starting a foundation the because we knew other family needed to have a conversation and they needed compassionate care. So it was a tough time but I learned so much and I wanted to help other family that were dealing witness and didn't have the resources. What were the signs when your dad was diagnosed. Kit he had a limp in his left leg and he also got a case of bells palsy one side of the face sort of slouch and we didn't know what it was and myself diagnosed as Ms and other things but again we didn't really have the benefit of knowing what we know today and there's so many more things I wish my dad was still here he could benefit from. He was diagnosed very early in his 40's. He continued to work for quite a long time. Yes he did. Do you think that really helped. Bill Cosby. Working and exercising and staying active is so key but I have to thank bill Cosby because he was working on the Cosby show and bill Cosby was someone that continued to keep him employed. A lot of people don't know being a comedy writer is grueling. Late hours and Mr. Cosby thank god was there for him and kept him employed and that really kept the quality of his life at high place. Did your dad battle any depression. We hear a lot of times they go hand in hand. He did. He did. It didn't come along until a little bit later and he also developed some difficult mention a. But like I said he didn't have the benefit of some of the things that we know are so good for patients with Parkinson's rate now. Exercise is snow. Exercise is so key. Stays off symptoms. And I think with the robin Williams situation I think what scared me yesterday getting the news was I don't want people with Parkinson's to think this is a death sentence. Clearly robin was going through so many things. Almost like a perfect storm of the pre-existing condition that he had plus getting that news I'm not an expert. I don't have inside information but I can imagine what that must have been and compounded already bad situation. But it's so true and I need people to know that there are so many treatments, treatment options and information and Rae sources that are out there now for families dealing with Parkinson's and they need to necessity and spread that word. Different levels of park son robin is maybe different and dimension come on early or everybody start and progress the same. I have no idea but I think it was just really a compounding already pre-existing issues we know he was dealing with and then when you get the diagnosis it can make you, just make you sad. So if you already have depression or any kind of bipolar issue or manic issue it can make it worse. Key to know that this is something that can be treated. People have a very high quality of life with Parkinson's. And because do you so much work through holly rod and there are celebrity with Parkinson's. How important is the celebrity support and even more now with robin Williams and you wanting to get the message out. We started holly rod to help family impacted by Parkinson's and ended up dealing with autism as well which in fact is in our family. We honored Michael J fox and had Mohammad Ali come out and these are people that have been the face of Parkinson's and have really embraced it and I can't tell you what that did for my dd and so many other families. I think in my gut what bother mess so much I think robin Williams would have been an amazing ambassador and tretd witness humor and all of the things that would have been of tremendous but not everybody can handle that. And so I can't I can't know what you are dealing with but I can only Immanuel it must have been tough. Holly what was it like living with a loved one with Parkinson's? What was it like inside for you to watch somebody go through with that. Robin Williams wife and children. Hard but you know kit my dad was the original Gordon on sesame street. I never knew. He started the show many years ago. Imagine being 4 years old and your daddy is Gordon. How hooked up is that. Hello. He gets to go to work with Oscar and big bird and earnie and -- eastern e.coli and Burt. And write for the Cosby show what was hard for us is that he was only in his 40's. Young on set Parkinson's and that was really tough and really cut off his livelihood. So his journey was different than what robin journey was or would have been or might have been. However I just want to just keep pushing that message of hope forward. It was hard to watch what my dad went through but again this was in the 80's. He didn't have the benefit of so many things that we know today. Holly thanks for coming in. Hearing your story. Thanks for having me. Sour strong. Coming up more