CEDARVILLE, Ohio — About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year. While it can be a very debilitating disease, some are finding ways to slow its’ progression. 

  • Bill Ragle was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2013  
  • Deep Brain Stimulation helped to slow the progression of the disease for Bill
  • Ragle plans to finish one more semester of teaching at Cedarville University and will retire at the end of the school year

Moving at a steady pace on an early Monday morning, Bill Ragle stopped in the office for a short bit at Cedarville University.The professor of finance has been teaching for 25 years and never had a problem doing so. Showing us his Wall Street like classroom, Bill says in 2013 that changed. There’d be days where he’d be in the middle of teaching and all of the sudden he’d have brain freezes. 

“It would just get stuck in there somewhere. whats the next thing I'm supposed to do here?  Oh yeah, I remember," he said. "I’d done this many times I know how to do this and here I am, I can't do this and there's a bunch of students there, waiting for me to do this.”

As quiet as was kept, Bill was also having muscle spasms and struggling to talk. Plus, colleagues noticed him moving a lot  slower and hunched over. After a doctor visit, Bill learned he had Parkinson’s Disease. Over time, Bill says things got worse. But then he heard about Deep Brain Stimulation. He said, “This is where they drilled the holes right here. And then they put the…they put probes or electrodes down into my brain.” 

After therapy and lots of prayers this past summer, Bill was like a new man. Involuntary movements, struggles with talking and walking stopped. He said, “The greatest thing that I've gotten out of this is that God's at work no matter whether Im going through good times, bad times.”

Now, Bill’s doing things he wouldn’t have been able to do prior to the surgery, including meeting up with a few buddies to play tennis.

“I don't have a cure for this, but this is a reprieve that God has given for a time, and I'm going to enjoy it," he said. "Also, working and exercising is one of the best ways to keep this disease from advancing.”

While he may not move fast like Roger Federer, friend Eddie Ropp said he’s come a long way.

“His physical ability to hit the backhand when we're not expecting it is catching us off guard,” Ropp said.

Bill said his energy is up.

“Before my surgery, I got to where I was like taking about three naps a day. And that is no more. I've got lots of energy," he said.

That includes energy to teach one more semester of finance classes at Cedarville University before retiring at the end of the school year. 

To learn more about Parkinson's disease, log onto to www.parkinsonsfoundation.org.