Young mum battles Parkinson’s disease

At just 24, Jennifer is the youngest Australian with condition

LOVE AND SUPPORT: Jennifer’s daughter, Abby, provides her with support. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

SHE’S a gun poker player, a model and is the mother of an energetic five year old daughter.

Jennifer Bodenhamer is also the youngest person in Australia with Parkinson’s disease.

The 24 year old was officially diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s earlier this year, after suffering from “shakes” since the age of 12.

In addition to Parkinson’s Jennifer has also battled depression much of her life, and has had three unrelated surgeries, including heart surgery, over the past three years.

Despite her battles Jennifer is tackling Parkinson’s head on and hopes to become an advocate for people suffering from the incurable disease, while also not letting it define her.

Finding out she had Parkinson’s was extremely hard for Jennifer.

She had been on Parkinson’s medication since the age of 19, but hadn’t been properly diagnosed until earlier this year when she saw an Albury based neurologist.

“He took me off my meds to see how I would go without them,” Jennifer said.

“I couldn’t walk, I’d advanced that much that I couldn’t do anything unassisted.

“I pretty much just slept for a week because you don’t shake when you sleep.”

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