© St. Petersburg Times, published July 22, 2001
Janet Reno has been fielding questions about Parkinson's disease since she announced her diagnosis more than 6 years ago. Here's a sampling of what she has said about her condition through the years:
NOV. 16, 1995: Attorney General Reno, then 57, discloses she has Parkinson's disease to reporters at her weekly news conference, saying she feels strong, takes long walks and does not "feel like I have any impairment." She says she understands that "as I grow old and become a very old lady, I may find limitation in mobility, in muscle responses and slowness in gait, dragging of feet and some speech impairment."
NOV. 8, 1996: The Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale reports Reno worked on a house in southeast Washington for Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for the poor. Reno says, "I was . . . sanding a ceiling for six hours and painting. I haven't noticed anything except my left hand shakes."
MAY 13, 1999: In a brief interview with the Miami Herald, Reno gives a one-word answer when asked if her disease interferes with her work: "No."
JUNE 18, 1999: At her weekly news conference, Reno tells reporters the shaking started with her left arm and has spread to her right one. She says, "Some days . . . when you all have stressed me out or Congress has stressed me out, the hand just sits there like that. And other days, it shakes. I can't figure out what it does and why it does it."
JULY 4, 1999: In an interview in the Dallas Morning News, Reno says her disease is not debilitating. "I feel good. It obviously shakes. But it's like, I guess, a stutter would be to other people. But I feel fine."
MAY 20, 2001: Reno is asked on CNN's Late Edition if she has the strength to go forward with a tough campaign and then, if elected, serve as governor, given her Parkinson's. Reno says, "I think I can do it, otherwise I wouldn't be here. But what I will continue to do is what I've always done, is make full, if I decide to run, I would make full disclosure and have people ask my doctor questions and make all those full disclosures."
MAY 8, 2001: Reno speaks about Parkinson's to the annual conference of the American Academy of Neurology in Philadelphia, where she is given the group's Public Leadership in Neurology Award: "I want to do everything I possibly can to demonstrate to others that a disease like Parkinson's disease does not necessarily prevent you from serving your community or country or pursuing the causes and opportunities important to you."