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Local Blogger with Parkinson's uses humor to help people cope

Wednesday January 11, 2012

Marie Hamill

KSWT - One local blogger affected by Parkinson's in the Desert Southwest helps thousands of people across the world cope with the disease by using humor.

Some call this blogger YumaBev while others call her the jewel in the desert.

Her name is Beverly Ribaudo, a year round Yuma resident who has been diagnosed with young onset Parkinson's disease and writes about her experiences in a comical way.

Her blogsite is called Parkinson's Humor.

"Instead of telling them the story about me getting stuck in a bath tub, and making it scary, I decided to make it funny. So I told them how the fire men that came to rescue me were all good looking and how I was looking forward to getting a bath everyday, so all the good looking fire men could come and rescue me," says Ribaudo.

Ribaudo says initially she only shared her stories with about 6 people, and they forwarded her blogs to more friends and before she knew it, thousands of people worldwide were logging on and reading her stories.

"It seems like lately I've had a lot of readers from Europe and Eastern Europe, like Russia and it's strange because every time I see a new country, sometimes I have to look it up on a map to see where it is," says Ribaudo.

Ribaudo says she blogs about twice a week but says typing is difficult and can be time consuming for her because of the disease, but says the readers keep her motivated.

"They write to me and they contact me and they tell me that it made them laugh, or that they were having a really bad day and when they read one of my stories it made them feel better. So when you get inspiration like that, it's hard to not keep doing it," says Ribaudo.

Ribaudo is not only a blogger but also a song writer.

Friends of hers say they look forward to karaoke at local bars because Ribaudo writes funny lyrics to sing to common tunes.

Even people who don't suffer from Parkinson also follow Ribaudo's blog. She says people going through any hard time or just people who need a laugh often read her stories.

Ribaudo encourages any on who is suffering from Parkinson's to join the Yuma Parkinson support group. The group meets the first Monday of the month.