Smaller – A Poem about Parkinsons (World Parkinson’s Congress)

Hello, My name is Lily McDowell and I want to share a poem my Dad wrote for me and my sister Pearl That’s my Dad. His name is Andy. He has Parkinson’s Disease, but we call it Parky. Daddy wrote this poem so Pearl and I could understand more about what it feels like to have Parkinson’s The poem is called Smaller I will now read it for you My world got smaller My handwriting My voice My walk My spirit My balance The space in the world I take up It crept up on me in micro increments Those are big words for small and slow Until it arrived with a name and then it became Big And Scary and I didn’t want it But now I had a face A reason for all the smallness So it became what it is I may be smaller, slower But I’m still me Yes, you are Daddy

20 thoughts on “Smaller – A Poem about Parkinsons (World Parkinson’s Congress)

  1. That was amazing, you are a brave inspiration, good spirit and loving heart. Keep shining and loving all that is yours…family, friends and life as you know it to be. So sweet too the way you explained it to your wee ones, a nice gentle way of understanding their beloved Daddy…

  2. Utterly beautiful, I hope you release it as a children's book at a later date.

  3. Excellent thought Kym!! Such an awesome an understandable way for little ones to learn to grow and live with what surrounds them….

  4. Awww… I loved that poem. The illustrations, voices and inspiration behind it all.. Why do disease's have to exist..? T^T

  5. Parkinson’s is a degenerative, neurological disorder with no known cure. One of the idiosyncrasies’ of PD is no two people have the same combination of the many motor symptoms (tremor, facial masking, slurred speech etc.) or the many non-motor symptoms (fatigue, pain, depression, cognition, memory, motivation etc). The lack of dopamine affects both physical movement and emotional life and that many people suffer from depression.

  6. This really brings tears to my eyes. I wish you and your family all the best, Mr. McDowell.

  7. The film ‘Smaller’ has been shortlisted for an award at the World Parkinson Congress in Montreal, Canada in October. I’m asking people to make a donation to help Andy to attend the 3 day Congress. It would be amazing if ‘Smaller’ won a prize, but even if it doesn’t, attending the conference will help Andy and Kate to learn about cutting edge research and care models, network with the best researchers and clinicians. Go to

  8. At the WPC 2013 Opening Ceremony Smaller was Grand Prize winner of both the WPC 2013 Video Competition and the People's Choice Award


  9. Sent this to my Dad – Hero, mentor, genius, Parkinsons Sufferer.
    Love you Dad.

  10. I stopped watching seven sharp halfway through because I was crying so much from how sweet the story was. I had a close family member who lived with it for 20 years and so completely understood. Much love to your family and I hope the treatments go well. There is some really advanced stuff out there for it.

  11. i have added subtitles in French, German, Italian, Swedish and, Spanish.

  12. It's really simple and beautiful, thank you so much for sharing it!

  13. I've recently had a baby girl and I've had parkinsons for 20 years. This poem is amazing. My poem is of a different character but I share the same struggle. My very best and good wishes to you and your family Andy. Here's the poem:

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