Dean Malenko Talks About Parkinson’s Battle
“I compare having Parkinson’s like having a roommate that never leaves because every morning, you wake up, you have this other person with you.”
WCW legend Dean Malenko was a recent guest on Talk is Jericho. The two former rivals in WCW’s Cruiserweight division talked at length about The Iceman’s influential career, and the work Malenko does now as Senior Producer and coach in AEW.
However, the main reason for Malenko’s appearance was to talk about his seven-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.
“What happened was I’m 60 years old. They say usually around 60 is the age when you start to get it,” Malenko said. “I got it about six – seven years ago. About a year ago, I was at Starrcast in Chicago, and I was asked to do a Q&A session with Tony Schiavone. And I got a little nervous and a little scared because I was going to be out in front of people. I haven’t really been in front of crowds a lot. Of course, at work, which is a different environment, but you get nervous sometimes because you don’t want people to know what you got.
“You’re like trying to hide it. Parkinson’s is a very difficult thing to cover up. It looks like you’re freezing cold. I don’t want people to think that, and that’s one of reasons why I asked you to do this. And that day, when I started talking, I realised the microphone was really light, and what I mean by that is things that are very light, like silverware, if there’s no weight to it, I’ll shake more. It’s very interesting the way all that works.
“So I had Tony and the people there actually get me a stand and put the stand up and the microphone in there. I didn’t have to use my hands. I almost felt like Stevie Wonder playing on the piano. I just kind of blurted out, ‘Damn, Parkinson’s,’ and a couple of people caught it, and kind of got on social media and ran a little bit but nothing really big.”
Malenko continued: “I compare having Parkinson’s like having a roommate that never leaves because every morning, you wake up, you have this other person with you. It’s either not going to let you get out of bed really easy, going to make a shake and kind of takes over your body. So that could be a little crazy at times, but I’m kinda getting used to. I’ve really have tried to laugh things off.
“My 15-year-old, if I’m shaking, she’ll come over and put her hand on me and then she starts shaking and just have fun with it. There’s nothing you can do about it. I am not going to get rid of it. It’s always going to be there. Hopefully, with modern medicine and going forward, they can slow this down at one point, and if not, I’ll deal with it whenever.”
Malenko also revealed that long-time friend and fellow WCW legend Rey Mysterio has been a valuable ally during his Parkinson’s battle:
“There’s a couple guys in the business that know what I have, Rey Mysterio being one of them. Rey’s been just a great guy about it. In fact, he’s always trying to find stuff for me and real good friend. He’s been trying to get me literature on the stem cells because he’s used it several times. He’s gone several times and always calls me and says, ‘Whenever you’re ready, I’ve already talked to this doctor, and there’s been a lot of success.’ Problem is a lot of stuff has to be approved by the FDA. You got to be careful what you take too because you don’t know what the side effects are or if there is any.”