By Robbie Owens

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – In June, Jason Arwine said ‘I do.’ The commitment to Heather, he says, came easy. Saying his vows clearly, required hard work.

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“I have young onset Parkinson’s disease.”

The 35-year-old retired Marine now finds himself fighting a different war—and not just with the typical tremors.

“I had no idea that Parkinson’s affects your voice the way that it does,” Arwine admitted, adding, “I always thought it was because of the loud noise around me — why people were giving me the second look [and] asking me if I could repeat myself.”

“What happens is they start taking smaller breaths,” explained Samantha Elandary, the founder and CEO of Richardson-based Parkinson Voice Project. “They are breathing more shallowly. So, their voice does not come out strong anymore. So, it ends up being raspy, and soft and breathy.”

Through a program developed at the non-profit called ‘Speak Out Loud’, patients learn to develop new brain pathways—reclaiming their strong voices, their independence, and so much more. Elandary recounts a story from a former patient’s journal.

“He said, ‘I have to repeat myself 300-percent of the time. I have no human friends…it’s too much trouble to have a conversation with me. My voice makes me feel lonely and isolated and depressed.’”

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But, Elandary says the therapy works and it works quickly. Clients learn to speak “with intent.” And there is no cost for the services. Clients are asked to “pay it forward” in any way they can. Some will write checks, others will volunteer to clean carpets or do repair work. But, the biggest changes, supporters say, are in clients’ lives.

“The difference is like night and day,” says Arwine. Now, he can continue to say the loving words that his new bride thrills to hear—and that he never takes for granted.

“I don’t take anything for granted anymore—especially life.”

Follow me: @cbs11Robbie

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