Rendell reveals he has Parkinson's disease

The former Pa. governor wants to encourage others to get themselves checked out.

Mike DeNardo
June 18, 2018 - 11:32 am
Ed Rendell

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In a press conference Monday at Pennsylvania Hospital, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell announced he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's disease.

Rendell says he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder three and a half years ago after he began experiencing tremors and problems with his balance. But the 74-year-old Rendell says, thanks to physical therapy, medication, and the guidance of his doctors at Penn Medicine, the progression of the disease has stabilized.  He says Parkinson's is not a death sentence, if it's caught early.

"It's not any treatment I got because I'm a former governor or mayor. It's available to anybody," he said. "So if you're out there, if you're experiencing problems with your balance or you're starting to have tremors, get into a doctor."

Rendell's friend and former chief of staff David Cohen attended the announcement. 

"He's got this disease mastered as much as you can master it," Cohen said.

Cohen says he's proud Rendell went public, so that other people with Parkinson's may have hope.