This is the story of a man diagnosed with Parkinson's. God sent him into building miniatures and his life changed in a blessed way he could never imagine.
My Story - Barry Roberson
My story of building dollhouses started close to 15 or 20 years ago when I built my first dollhouse for my youngest daughter. About 8 years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy(PSP) and my 33 year career at AT&T as well as driving was over. The doctors told me that these diseases would be tough and I had probably 4-7 years left. I am have lived longer than I was expected so I tell people these are free days but I was so wrong. God clearly had more work for me to do. Thad Woodard a fireball of ideas and someone I worked for as a student assistant when he was Director of PR for Pfeiffer we reunited at an event at Pfeiffer. He did not know what had happen he said what could he do. He told me he would see my story be told.
A few weeks later Josh Shaffer with the Raleigh News and Observer called and said that he wanted to come do a story on me. Josh wrote what I thought was an outstanding article about what I had done and how others dealt with Parkinson's disease. The story got picked up be Associate Press and when all over the country and parts of the world. Before I knew it I had stangers from all over the country sending me old houses and furniture. I was overwhelmed by the attention I received from that one little article. God was showing me that their were still When any person receives such a serious diagnosis they look at life totally different. I also knew that how I handled myself as a result of the diagnosis would greatly influence how hard it was on my family. I had seen my dad fight ALS until he gave up and then it got unbelievably harder. I understood why he did it so I am in no way being critical of him. Little did I know that my mom would also succumb to ALS several years later.
I asked God what was I going to do with the time I had left. He told me to build dollhouses and I must confess I thought he wasn't serious. But God was about to take me on a journey that would make me a far better Christian man. Little did I know what new doors would open for me. I found I needed a purpose in building them than just for therapy. I decided to build them for kids with serious illnesses and also as I became more and more dependent on others for help I could repay them with the skill God had given me. I have to say it has been a real blessing for me because it has kept me focused off my medical problems. I give the miniatures are all given away because that was my way of giving back. It is really the only thing I can do well to show those folks how much I appreciate what they do.
Life was harder than I thought especially the first two years. I fell all the time and the other goodies that came with the disease tested me and my wife and family. I tried to live my life like there was no tomorrow. During these years Dawn and I have finished going to all 50 states, we rode a bobsled down the US Olympic course in Lake Placid, NY, went to the top of the highest mountain in North America - Denali in Alaska. I have built over 120 houses, stores, barns and other miniatures. These years have rewarded me with 4 of the best grand kids any Pappy could ever be blessed with. I have met some of the most wonderful, caring and committed people along the way. I am a better dad, husband, friend and my relationship with God is where it should have been all along. Please continue to keep me and my family in your prayers. I hope that you enjoy my website and invite you to visit it often as I will be including additional miniatures. Each has a story behind it. Finally none of this would have been possible without having the best caregiver, wife and supporter anyone could be blessed to have. I love you Dawn!