Linda Ronstadt's brother talks about sister's Parkinson's diagno - Tucson News Now

Linda Ronstadt's brother talks about sister's Parkinson's diagnosis

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

We are learning more about Grammy-winning singer and Tucson native, Linda Ronstadt's illness.

Linda began having symptoms years ago and just months ago, she found out it was Parkinson's disease. Her brother says she's ready to fight.

Michael J. Ronstadt sang a song his sister Linda wrote Saturday afternoon. Singing is a talent almost everyone in this family has. But his sister Linda says she will no longer be able to sing.

"I can't imagine what it's like for her to not be able to sing," Michael J. Ronstadt said.

Linda Ronstadt found out months ago she has Parkinson's disease and went public with it yesterday in an interview with AARP magazine.

"It's hard for her to hit the notes," Michael J. Ronstadt said.

Parkinson's disease is a disorder in the nervous system that affects movement and has stroke like symptoms.

"They can't carry messages to the brain to the muscle so her throat isn't getting the message the brain is giving her," Sharon Kha, former president of American Parkinson's Disease Association in Southern Arizona, said. Kha also suffers from Parkinson's and raps for therapy.

"When I got Parkinson's, I thought everything was over, my career, my future was over. I became a rapper and said things like, 'Yo homies, Parkinson's disease is really whack but you'd be illing if you don't fight back," Kha said.

Fighting back is what Linda Ronstadt plans to do.

"You know, she's going to fight it as well as anyone can fight it. Obviously it's changed her course of life," Michael J. Ronstadt said.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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