Rick and Lori Allen
Susan & Mark Cohen
With much love, Debbie T
The Hoffman Family
The Marin Family
Mr. Jason Cohen
The Bearak Family
Sara & Izzy
I am participating in the Miami Moving Day Walk, benefiting the Nat'l Parkinson Foundation S. Florida on Oct 6, 2013.
This is my story
It was early 2006 and my right foot started to bother me; I began to walk with a noticable limp. I thought it was an orthopedic problem since my foot would hurt after a lot of walking and exercising had become difficult. The orthopedic doctor found nothing wrong and I thought that was good news. But he did suggest I go to a neurologist to rule out drop foot. The neurologist felt there was something wrong and ran some tests. A week later, I was back in his office for my test results. I sat in the exam room in total shock when he diagnosed me with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease. I thought he was crazy - I was only 43 years old! I went home, did some research and went to a Movement Disorder Neurologist at Cleveland Clinic who specialized in Parkinson's. He examined me, confirmed the diagnosis, and started me on two medications, each once a day. He explained that there is no cure but medication can help and over time we would have to adjust my cocktail of meds. I also went to a doctor at UM thinking (hoping) this was the doctor who would tell me the first two neurologists I saw were wrong, but he agreed with the diagnosis. Today I take 4 medications, a total of 10-12 pill a day.
Telling my kids was one of the hardest things I have done as a parent. Mike and I told them right away. I still stand by what I told them that night. I have this crappy disease that I am going to have to deal with for the rest of my life but it will not kill me and I will not let it get the best of me; although over the years it has tried!
I always thought Parkinson's was a shaking disease but quickly learned that tremors are only a part of the disease. I had five out of the 10 early signs of Parkinson's...small handwriting, loss of smell, tremor, stiffness and changes in my posture. For years only my family and a few friends knew I had Parkinson's. When I starting having a high stress level at work about three years ago my symptoms increased and at times became noticeable to others. I started telling more people.
Last March I made a major change in my life and stopped working. That change was one of the best decisions I have made. The stress was killing me, I was miserable and probably miserable to be with. I am now much healthier and able to enjoy my friends and family AND my first grandchild, Layla!
Last year was the first ever Moving Day walk for Parkinson's. I got involved with NPF when they helped us start a support/social group for young onset PD. It has helped Mike and I so much to meet others dealing with PD. Because NPF had helped me, I decided to participate in the walk. Forming the team Shake It Off was my final "coming out."
It is my hope that better treatment, more answers, even a cure will be found in my lifetime. I may have Parkinson's but Parkinson's will not get me. After all I am a Grammie now and have to remain active and healthy!
I hope you will join me and my family at the Moving Day Miami Walk event on October 6th, 2013 and walk with our Team Shake It Off. While donations are wonderful, the most important thing is your support and the public awareness this walk will bring.
The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) continues to bring help and hope to the estimated one million people in the United States, four to six million worldwide, who are living with Parkinson?s disease. NPF is the only organization with a singular focus on improving the quality of care in Parkinson?s disease. NPF programs reach more than one million people a year through its network of 39 chapters, 43 Centers of Excellence and 900 support groups. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $172 million in care, research and support services.