​​​​Nan Little

​​​If I Can Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Why Can't I Brush My Teeth?

Courage, Tenacity and Love Meet Parkinson's Disease

Dance for PD 

"...a fresh and truthful account of living with and continually battling disease. Nan has completed more physical feats than the majority of the 'neurologically normal' population, a testament to her courage and tenacity and the love and support of Doug, her family and her friends."  Jay L. Alberts, Ph.D.,

Vice Chair of Health Technology Enablement, Neurological Inst., 

Director, Cleveland Clinic Concussion Center,
The Edward F. and Barbara A. Bell Family Endowed Chair
Staff Biomedical Engineering

"I applaud Nan for her courageousness in writing this book so others may learn from her mistakes, triumphs, missteps and accomplishments. PWPs often feel out of control of their lives; Nan grudgingly accepts what she cannot do and embraces the challenges she’s capable of defeating.”  Steve Wright, Executive Director, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation


"When life poked Nan Little she poked back. Her incredibly personal story of empowerment and adventure has made her an inspirational figure in the Parkinson’s disease community. Nan’s story is a testament to what can be achieved when we tap into the power of mind and body to alter life’s course.” 
Jeff Broderick, Co-Founder & CEO, Beneufit, Inc.

"Delightfully humorous, heartfelt, and inspiring. This book is a must read that will inspire you to live each moment to its fullest. Nan gives honest and raw insight into the process one goes through after being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease and how our biggest trial can give us our greatest life lessons." Brandis Gunderson, Owner: Baker to Bay Wellness Center, Kilimanjaro climber with MS

“Nan Little says that all those with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who exercise daily ‘climb a mountain higher than Kilimanjaro’ every time.  Read her book to discover how a 60+ year-old grandmother turned a PD diagnosis into a prescription for exercise, filling her life with unimaginable moments." Katherine Huseman, President, Parkinsons Creative Collective

​ Kilimanjaro


Unlike most “athlete overcomes adversity” books, IF I CAN CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO, WHY CAN’T I BRUSH MY TEETH? COURAGE, TENACITY AND LOVE MEET PARKINSON’S DISEASE chronicles an older woman’s unorthodox approach to managing PD. I tell stories, encouraging patients to draw from my experiences points that are relevant to their own lives.  I don’t hide.  Hallucinations, constipation, compulsive behaviors, and loss are all part of the picture.  So is the emotion of standing on the roof of Africa, dipping my bike wheel in the Mississippi after cycling across Iowa for seven days and paying careful attention as my two year old granddaughter explains how to stop my “dancing hand”.  Each story is laced with courage, tenacity and love.

An estimated 1-1.5 million Americans live with Parkinson’s with an additional 50,000-60,000 diagnosed each year, numbers growing as the population ages.  Globally, it is estimated this chronic neurodegenerative disease currently affects about 5 million. Although this book is about my experiences with Parkinson’s, it is appropriate for any person who endures a neurodegenerative disease, and those who work with them or care about them.

Patient efficacy, having some control over our own Parkinson’s path, makes this book distinctive from other medical memoirs.  Most books about incurable diseases rely on Hope, Attitude and possibly Faith to inspire the afflicted to make the best of it.  This book adds Action based on scientific research with measurable outcomes to encourage patients to take some control over their situation.


Courage, Tenacity and Love Meet Parkinson's Disease