"People have to be strong like Oak Trees!"

Name: Don Tito
Home: Cerro Catillo, Chile
Born: 1931
Parkinson's Status: Patient
Diagnosed 1999
Major Symptoms: Tremor and slowness

Don Tito
Don Tito 2004

Don Ernesto "Tito" Santana, 74, lives in Cerro Castillo, Chile, situated on the border of Argentina and Chile. He, like many people in his country, has Parkinson's Disease. The first sign that not all was well with his health was that his hands and knees started to shake. Eventually, Don Tito became worried and told his wife what was happening. Soon, he decided to see a doctor in Puerto Natales. Four years ago, in Puerto Natales, Don Tito was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease by a specialist. Fortunately, he receives his medicines for free, with the help of the Fondo Nacional de Salud (FONASA) and his doctor.

Life has changed for Don Tito since his diagnosis with Parkinson's Disease.

"I used to be free to hang out anywhere I wanted with my wife and my sons," said Don Tito. "But, after starting with the Parkinson's disease, my freedom to go out or to do things isn't the same anymore. For example, the doctor doesn't allow me to ride horses any longer."

Don Tito worked many years as a sheerer and used to travel long distances to take care of his stock. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he had to change his job, and, fortunately, he found an employer that offered him a position as a cook.

At this time in his life, his biggest challenge is keeping his job. Although he receives a monthly payment, the money is not enough to provide for his needs. Recently, he bought his own home in Puerto Natales, and he now lives there with his wife when he is back from his job during the weekends.

He would like the general public to know that Parkinson's Disease is common but not contagious, and that it can affect anyone.

"I would like to say to these people that they have to be as strong as an oak tree to keep life going on. They don't have to think about dying, because life goes on".

Don Tito’s favorite recipe

Cazuela de Cordero

  • 1,5 Kg de costillar de cordero
  • 1 cucharada de aceite
  • ½ cebolla picada en cuadritos
  • 3 dientes de ajo
  • Papas
  • Arroz
  • Choclo en rodajas

Saltear el costillar con aceite, cebolla y ajo. Luego agregar aproximadamente 3 L de agua hervida y dejar cocer por aproximadamente 2 y ½ horas a fuego lento junto al resto de los ingredients.