Robert Owens

Gus and Marcia Hakala's battles with Parkinson's disease inspired the character of Robert Owens
Gus and Marcia Hakala’s battles with Parkinson’s disease inspired the character of Robert Owens


Both of my parents died from complications of Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder with a myriad of symptoms.

My parents’ struggles made a deep impression on me, as you can imagine, and led me to found an organization to give handmade quilts to people with Parkinson’s disease, the Parkinson’s Comfort Quilt Project.

In The Road Unsalted, Ted Owens is caught in a situation that’s all-too-familiar to many Americans, taking care of his aging father, Robert, and his twelve-year old niece, Suzanna. Robert has Parkinson’s disease, and his feelings about being in an assisted living facility as well as the vagaries of the disease are based on my experience with my parents.

Author of the Carding, Vermont novels, quilt books, and book publishing guides.

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