Sadhana Pakala: Humans of Staten Island Tech

“I recently found out that my grandfather’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It’s a genetic disorder that affects your nervous system and makes you lose control of your body and mind. Hearing that one of the smartest people you know is slowly losing the ability to take care of himself and comprehend what’s real and what’s a hallucination is a gut-wrenching feeling. Especially when he lives half way across the world and you have no way to stop it from happening. Over the last couple of months, the thought that’s occurred most in my head is, ‘This disease is genetic, which means my dad, sister and I could have the gene.’ It is something that I think about and, yes, I have emotional breakdowns over it. Then, there’s the fact that my dad has a higher risk of having the gene than I do. Simply thinking about what could possibly happen to my dad in the near future makes me sick to my stomach.You play out this scenario of the perfect family and perfect grandparents and then suddenly those pictures in your head are no longer of a happy suburban family, but you taking care of your sick dad watching helplessly as he slowly loses his mind. It’s not a happy sight. I’m not going to go around saying ‘this event has made me change my life, I’m going to work harder and be super successful and maybe cure the disease in the future.’ Anyone who knows me knows that I always stand by one thing: everything happens for a reason. As cliché as it is, it’s true. I believe strongly in the fact that God has a plan for us and even when your whole world is slowly crumbling around you, something good is going to come out of it.”

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