Today, Congresswoman Wexton announced she has been diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). This comes after previously sharing that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in April 2023.
As stated on her House of Representatives website, Rep. Jennifer Wexton has been serving the people of Northern Virginia for nearly two decades, first as a prosecutor, then as an advocate for abused children, followed by her role as a state Senator, and now as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 10th District.
In April 2023, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton made a powerful announcement, pledging to raise awareness and take action on World Parkinson’s Day. She stated, “I chose to come forward today, on World Parkinson’s Day, because I want to bring about as much good from this diagnosis as I can, and I look forward to doing just that here in Congress,” (source).
Like Rep. Wexton, many PSP patients initially receive a Parkinson’s disease misdiagnosis in part due to limited awareness among the public and healthcare providers, leading to delays in obtaining an accurate diagnosis. The sooner a person living with PSP puts in place a care team the better. Importantly, the lack of awareness and the delay in diagnosis also hinder clinical trials.
On behalf of our community, including patients, caregivers, and those who have lost loved ones to PSP and rare neurodegenerative disorders, CurePSP commends Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton for publicly sharing her PSP diagnosis. We appreciate her commitment to raising awareness and amplifying the voices of our community. CurePSP, with its network of experts and advocates, stands ready to assist.
“When I shared with the world my diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease a few months ago, I knew that the road ahead would have its challenges, and I’ve worked hard to navigate those challenges through consistent treatments and therapies. But I wasn’t making the progress to manage my symptoms that I had hoped, and I noticed the women in my Parkinson’s support group weren’t having the same experience that I was. I sought out additional medical opinions and testing, and my doctors modified my diagnosis to Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy – a kind of ‘Parkinson’s on steroids.’
“I’ve always believed that honesty is the most important value in public service, so I want to be honest with you now – this new diagnosis is a tough one. There is no ‘getting better’ with PSP. I’ll continue treatment options to manage my symptoms, but they don’t work as well with my condition as they do for Parkinson’s.
“I’m heartbroken to have to give up something I have loved after so many years of serving my community. But taking into consideration the prognosis for my health over the coming years, I have made the decision not to seek reelection once my term is complete and instead spend my valued time with Andrew, our boys, and my friends and loved ones.
“When I made the decision to run for Congress, this was clearly not the way I anticipated it coming to a close — but then again, pretty much nothing about my time serving here has quite been typical or as expected. I will forever cherish the people from our communities and all around the country I’ve come to know, the challenges we’ve faced together, and the ways both big and small that my team and I have made a difference in the lives of our neighbors. While my time in Congress will soon come to a close, I’m just as confident and committed as ever to keep up the work that got me into this fight in the first place for my remaining time in office – to help build the future we want for our children. I am truly humbled by the trust Virginians have placed in me, and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of our district.”
To view Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton’s full statement from today, click here.
To learn more about PSP, please visit: https://www.psp.org/psp-some-answers-resource/
To learn more about CurePSP Centers of Care, please visit: https://info.curepsp.org/centers-of-care
To read the related Washington Post article, please visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/09/18/jennifer-wexton-parkinsons-diagnosis-progressive-supranuclear-palsy/
If you have any questions about this article or CurePSP, please contact Dr. Kristophe Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-725-1453.