By Ali Lucia

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While growing up in a big family on the Iron Range, Larry Schneiderman got his first taste of the family business at a young age.

“I sold my first couch when I was 15, and it’s kind of what I was made to do,” he said.

Five decades after helping build up Schneiderman’s Furniture along with his brother Russ, he decided it was time for retirement.

Schneiderman sold the business to his son, Jason, earlier this year.

“I’m proud of a lot, we’ve been around 67 years,” he said. “We’re still relevant and growing.”

The family just opened a new showroom in Lakeville earlier this year.

But now that he’s stepped away from the sales floor, he fills his time in writing. The creative exercise has been especially helpful after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011.

“One of the problems is you have trouble sleeping,” he said. “I tend to get up around four or five in the morning and what I do is write.”

His first book is a nonfiction novel about the family business titled, “A Call of the Couch.”

Schneiderman can’t take his medication until 6 a.m. so writing serves as his daily dose of early morning therapy.

“People often think if you have Parkinson’s, you have to have a tremor,” he said. “I don’t notice much of a tremor except in my left hand occasionally, but it’s not very noticeable.”

His second book, “Nobody Knows,” was just released this month. In the book, the protagonist is diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

“As far as my book, I’m certainly not expecting it to change the world,” Schneiderman said.

He says he’s never heard of a book where the protagonist has Parkinson’s disease and lives a “fairly normal life.”

Schneiderman hopes his work raises awareness for the disease he battle every day.

Every year, about 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The average age of onset for Parkinson’s is at 60, which is how old Schneiderman was when he received the diagnosis.

To learn more about Schneiderman and his books, click here.

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