Spinning Clay: Parkinson's Patient Takes Pottery To Cope With Il - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Spinning Clay: Parkinson's Patient Takes Pottery To Cope With Illness

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DOVER, Del. - See Harry Baxter smile with his son and you might think his life is normal.

But for 10 years, the Smyrna man has been living with Parkinson's disease. The disease can manifest itself in a broad spectrum of symptoms, from foot-shuffling to hand tremors. Some patients are even wheelchair-bound, unable to walk.

"Just being able to get out of bed and walk, that's the hardest part," said Harry Baxter.

Before taking daily medication, he has trouble making turns. His speech is slow and caring family members worry about the future.
     
"How much longer does he have before he's confined to a wheelchair or confined to a bed?" asks his son Jeff Baxter out loud.

To distract himself from his illness, Harry spins clay.

"If it's not centered, it is misshaped or if it's not centered is hard to go onto the next step and I think that teaches me a lot about life I need to keep centered," said Harry Baxter.

Last Friday, Harry entered Dover Art League's "Potters of Delaware" competition. He came in second.

"People love his work, they ask for it by name," said Meagan Drake of Dover Art League.

"There's no cure for the disease, but this is helping to slow it down," said Jeff Baxter.

"I'm still a productive member of the communities and my family and I have something I can focus on other than how I feel," said Harry Baxter.

In addition to pottery, Harry says he continues to walk and jog as much as he can.

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