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Garner mayor diagnosed with Parkinson's

Mayor Ronnie Williams announced Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease but that he had no plans to step down.

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Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams
GARNER, N.C. — Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams announced Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease but that he has no plans to step down.

Parkinson's is a degenerative nervous system disorder that often impairs motor skills, speech and other functions. Doctors say that with medicine and technological advancements in treating the disease, patients can have productive lives for many years.

Williams said he was diagnosed last Wednesday and is already on medication to control the symptoms.

“I have been dealt a lot of lemons, so I have a good, bona fide recipe for lemonade," he said. "I will make lots of lemonade."

Williams, whose term as mayor expires in 2011, has headed Garner since 2005 and previously served on the town's Board of Aldermen for 20 years.

"With the symptoms controlled by medication, I look forward to working as hard as I always have in the capacity as your mayor and ask for your patience and prayers as I adjust to this change in my life," Williams said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "I am proud and honored to serve as your mayor."

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