Linda Rondstat (now 70 years old) was born July 15, 1946 in Tuscon, Arizona. Her family surrounded her with music from a very young age, thus it was inevitable that she would become involved in music as well. By the age of 28, her breakout album "Heart Like a Wheel" had earned her 12 Grammy awards. In addition, Rondstat went on to win a double platinum award on her album, as well as Tony award nominations for starring on Broadway in Pirates of Penanza. Most recently, Rondstat received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.
In 2013, at the age of 66, Rondstat announced that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in an interview with AARP.
Parkinson's Disease: a common neurologic disease believed to be caused by deterioration of the brain cells that produce dopamine, occurring primarily after the age of 60, characterized by tremors, especially of the fingers and hands, muscle rigidity, shuffling gait, slow speech, and a masklike facial expression.
When her symptoms first arose, Rondstat assumed they were from old age or part of her tick disease. Initially, she attributed her trembling to a shoulder operation she had hears before. However, soon Rondstat began to notice that she was having a hard time singing, which led her to seek a professional diagnosis.
November 9, 2011- Rondstat accepts Life Time Achievement award
At a Neurosurgeon, Rondstat was tested for Parkinson's disease through a series of tests including - voice pattern recognition and neurological scans.
Now, Rondstat attends Voice/Speech Therapy so that she can continue speaking, though she has lost her singing voice. While she is not wheel-chair bound, Rondstat still has a hard time walking long distances. She reports that she can no longer walk to the beach by her house as she once was able to. To help with walking, Rondstat sometimes uses canes or "ski poles". To help with her symptoms, Rondstat maintains a healthy diet and a light exercise plan.
"If there was something I could work on, I’d work on it till I could get it back. If there was a drug I could take to get it back, I would take the drug... But I’m never going to sing again.” -Linda Rondstat
Rondstat has very matter-of-factly disclosed that her long time prognosis is death... but she states that "something's going to kill you eventually... I don't think about it. I think about what's going to happen today".