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B.C. Minister of Finance announces she has Parkinson's disease

Last Updated Mar 5, 2020 at 9:51 pm PDT


B.C. Minister of Finance Carole James announced she has Parkinson's disease

James said she will continue to do her job as long as her symptoms are manageable

The minister will not be running for re-election

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The B.C. Minister of Finance says she has Parkinson’s disease.

The announcement came during a press conference in Victoria Thursday where Carole James explained a tremor has started in her hand.

“I do think it’s important for me to be open with what I’m facing. It’s also because I’m not unique. There are between 10,000 and 13,000 people in our province who are living with Parkinson’s, and many of those people worry about the stigma and what will happen if they reach out for support,” she said. “If sharing my story can help others, that’s a good thing. As the symptoms of this very visible disease do surface, there is no need to hide them.”

For now, she said she will not be stepping down as long as her symptoms are manageable and she can give “100 per cent” to her job. However, James said she will not be running in the next election.

Last summer, James said she noticed a slight tremor in her hand and some trouble with balance. After seeing a neurologist and going through a series of tests, she learned she had Parkinson’s at the end of January.

“Needless to say, this is not what I had planned for the next part of my life. But each of us could face an unexpected, life-changing experience tomorrow. I have a name for mine, and I have an understanding of what the future may bring, which is all the more reason to take advantage of each and every day.” she said.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are treatments and medications for the symptoms.