Pattie Petty, philanthropist and wife of retired NASCAR driver and TV analyst Kyle Petty announced late Tuesday she has been diagnosed with and is receiving treatment for Parkinson’s Disease.
Petty, 60, suspected she had Parkinson’s in early 2010 when she began experiencing resting tremors and aching muscles – two symptoms her father suffered in the early stages of his 15 year battle with the disease. A doctor in Nashville, TN, confirmed her concerns giving her an initial diagnosis based on her distinctive outward symptoms and started her on anti-Parkinson’s drugs last summer.
“After watching my father live with Parkinson’s, it was not a surprise when I was told that I may be suffering from this disease as well,” she said. “I followed my doctor’s advice and began a series of medications, so that I could continue my plan of working a couple of weeks a month in Kansas City laying the ground work to open Victory Junction Midwest.”
Victory Junction Midwest is slated be the sister camp to Victory Junction in Randleman, N.C., a camp for chronically ill children started by Petty and her husband in honor of their oldest son Adam who died in a NASCAR practice session in 2000.
Pattie Petty is the tenth person at The University of Kansas Hospital to undergo a breakthrough test to diagnose Parkinson’s disease and other tremors. The FDA earlier this year approved DaTscan, a test that uses a radioactive imaging drug injected into the bloodstream for the purposes of detecting dopamine transporters (DaT) in the brain. The University Of Kansas Hospital is the first in the region to offer DaTscan.
The test confirmed Monday that Pattie has Parkinson ’s disease.