Sunday, April 29, 2012

Moneta, Virginia - A local 28 year old man continues devoting his free time to help inspire others.  But not just to inspire:  persevere.  Since March of this year, David Chedester has opened up to the world about a recent diagnosis that could have easily ruined his life.
"When I was told at the age of 26 that I most likely had Parkinson's Disease, I couldn't decide on how I should react or what I was supposed to do.  Regretfully, I leaned on alcohol to help me drown away my fear and resentment for what I was going through."

David exclaims that he resorted to drinking alone, everyday after work, for nearly 2 years.  Who could blame him?  When he was diagnosed with Parkinson's in August of 2010, 1 month before his 28th birthday, David says he had hit rock bottom in his life.

"I was still drinking everyday, scared of what my life was going to be like; instead of figuring out how I could turn this into something positive.  I was about to become an uncle for the first time, and I didn't want my first niece to be ashamed of who I was becoming.  That's when I realized it was time to make a change in my life."

Chedester has written a book, "Shakin' Not Stirred (finding perseverance through Parkinson's) and plans on doing a mini book signing tour in order to raise money for TEAM FOX.  He most recently did an interview for ABC News, WSLS News 13 in Lynchburg, Virginia in which he explains that instead of being a "statistic" he now has a responsibility. 

"People need to see an example of someone my age persevering through the hardest of times in life.  Things could always be much worse, but Parkinson's isn't something that is going to destroy me.  I needed my diagnosis to help me see life in a different way.  It's helped me life in every moment and to enjoy everyday.  Life is such a beautiful thing, and I hope that I can help make a difference in millions of peoples lives.  I just have to take it one day at a time."

Chedester just recently started his own non-profit called the Shakin' Not Stirred Foundation, which he plans to donate 100% of any money he raises to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.  He will be featured in a FOX News interview that will be aired in early May, and also will be featured on WDBJ CBS News in Roanoke, Virginia on May 20th. 

David will be one of the featured local authors at the "Roanoke Virginia local authors week book signing" at Barnes & Noble in Valleyview Mall on June 15th.  His books will be on sale for $20 and you can stop by to buy his book and receive an autograph from 6-9pm that Friday. 

"I set a goal to raise $20,000 for TEAM FOX this year.  After my first event, I've raised over $2,000, so hopefully I can continue to grow that number."

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