“I was diagnosed at 42 with Parkinson’s I’m now 50 years old I started painting as therapy for my tremors… I’ve never painted in my life… I just started doing this as therapy and I only started painting 3 years ago and I don’t know why I can paint I never could do any of that kind of thing before but maybe it’s something to do with Parkinson’s and it changing the way your brain works I’m not sure but at least I have an outlet and I can live vicariously…”
Those are parts of notes to me from a woman named Kristen Schonfelder, who grew up as a surfer girl in Huntington Beach. Eader Elementary, Edison High; you get the picture. She lives in San Jose today, but she’s back in HB frequently, to still try and get out a little bit on a board and to reconnect with the place that shaped her. She loves it here. And she needs out help.
The vibrant and creative art she began creating just after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, has evolved. Her canvas today? Surfboards. She paints exquisite designs on boards to sell, donate (she donates some of her proceeds from sales to the Michael J Fox Foundation For The Study of a Cure) and give to friends. It is her salvation. Despite the many bottles of pills on a kitchen counter adjacent to the quiet living room where we sat last week, it’s the painting that is obviously her medicine. Her salvation.
Her passion is, was and will always be surfing. She gets through the most difficult days today painting waves and ocean and surf on boards.
But she needs boards. Any boards. Scrap boards. Old boards. New boards. Anything will do. You can simply donate the old board to her. Or she will even paint one for you if you’d like. I’ve gotten to know Kristen over the last few months and her artistic hopes and dreams are matched by her courage and will to fight the disease she has. She is remarkable. And she needs our help.
You can see more of her work here or contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange the pick up of any surf boards you might be willing to have picked up for Kristen.