Marquette native with Parkinson’s Disease remains active outdoors

Bruce Closser is an avid skier and biker despite being diagnosed with PD in 2019.
Bruce Closser is an avid skier and biker despite being diagnosed with PD in 2019.
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 5:27 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:39 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - One Marquette native is making the most of his neurological condition.

77-year old Bruce Closser lives in Marquette’s Shiras Hills neighborhood with his wife Sally. Bruce was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in May 2019.

“I knew for quite a while that there was something else, there was something going on, we just didn’t have a name for it,” Closser says. “I knew that it was getting worse and that it wasn’t good.”

Bruce already knew a lot about Parkinson’s, since Sally was diagnosed with the same disease about 10 years earlier. An avid skier and biker, he says it has impacted his balance. “I had to stop racing,” Closser says. “I can still ski, but I have to avoid the big hills.”

When there isn’t snow on the ground, Closser frequents the Noquemanon Trail Network on his mountain bike. But in the wintertime, he enjoys alpine skiing at Marquette Mountain. “The really fortunate thing is that the things that I really enjoy doing are the things that I’m supposed to be doing to help my Parkinson’s,” Closser says.

Keeping active is shown to help mitigate symptoms of PD. One of many reasons Closser has not given up on his passions.

“My motto is, do as much as you can for as long as you can,” he says. “If I can’t do A, I’ll do B, if I can’t do B, I’ll do C. I mean, there’s always something that you can do.”

Closser is also involved with the Parkinson’s Foundation. In October 2020, he got the inspiration to write a Parkinson’s themed song to the tune of Dolly Parton’s 1980 single “9 to 5.”

“I started thinking of these words that had to do with Parkinson’s that seemed to fit the song,” Closser said. “We found a band and we rehearsed and we found a venue to record it.”

Now, his rendition of “9 to 5″ appears on the foundation’s website.

Closser says he isn’t sure if his story is inspiring. But he’d be grateful if his ability to overcome Parkinson’s and stay active helps anyone who struggles to do what they love.

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