Rev. Jesse Jackson being interviewed


In the News: Rev. Jesse Jackson undergoing therapy for Parkinson's disease


A recent story on ABC7 highlighed Rev. Jesse Jackson's stay at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab where he underwent treatment for Parkinson's disease.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. is back home after he was released from rehab Thursday.

The 80-year-old Jackson spent several weeks at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. A spokesperson for the Rainbow Push Coalition said he underwent physical, occupational and speech therapy to treat symptoms of his Parkinson's disease.

"I came in here in a wheelchair and I'm leaving here walking on my own power," he said.

With some help to maintain balance, Rev. Jackson said he is determined to get back to work.

Jackson has been living with Parkinson's for several years after diagnosed in 2017. The neurological disease has no cure and is a progressive disorder where mobility and speech decline over time.

Jackson regained some of it during his stay at the AbilityLab.

"Rev. Jackson participated in several weeks of intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab," said Dr. Leslie Rydberg, attending physician at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. "Clinical interventions focused on treating symptoms of his Parkinson's disease to maintain his mobility and participation in activities of daily life. Each day, I was inspired by his commitment and hard work."

The hard work paid off. Not only is Jackson walking, but his speech has also improved.

"Fighting Parkinson's is about working and being active," Jackson said. "You can't sleep your way though Parkinson's."

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