John and Virginia Brooks
John and Suzanne Morovitz
I am participating in the Miami Moving Day Walk, benefiting the National Parkinson Foundation on Oct. 6th, 2013.
The event will take place at Bayfront Park and will be a fun-filled, family-friendly event for all ages and abilities. We will be able to enjoy a variety of movement activities; yoga, dance, Pilates, Tai Chi, stretching and much more and celebrate the importance of movement in our lives.
Please consider being a part of my team or sponsoring me, and I encourage you to get your friends, family and coworkers involved.
I AM SPECIAL, and I have a sense of humor. I have Young Onset Parkinson's Disease (YOPD).
What does that mean, exactly? It means that instead of waiting until a normal age of 65-plus to get this disease, I was precocious and got it at 35. This makes me special, just like Michael J. Fox, but without his bank balance.
I may be special, but I am not rare. For a while, I thought Michael Fox and I were the only YOPD's out there. How wrong I was.
A sense of humor is a requirement when you have Parkinson's. Not only is it a good idea to be able to laugh at your predicament, but laughter helps your brain produce more dopamine, which is the stuffwe are lacking and causes all of our weird symptoms.
My story actually starts almost a year before I was diagnosed. I was at work when a friend asked me why my left hand was shaking much of the time and asked if I was OK. I started to exhibit some odd symptoms besides the tremor in my left hand, such as feeling stuck when I would try to get out of my chair, freezing up as I would walk through a doorway, and feeling fatigued. At first, I attributed these odd symptoms to being stressed and the long hours I was working. I decided to go see a doctor to find out what was wrong. My regular doctor did not know what was wrong, and he said I needed to see a neurologist, so I did. I had several tests done , including a painful spinal tap to rule out MS. Finally, the day came, I was in the doctor's office when he came in and told me I had Parkinson's.
My neurologist put me on Sinemet (Carbadopa/Levadopa) which worked great. But as time goes on my PD worsened, my doctors worked together to change and adjust my medicines and treatment to keep me going. My symptoms continued to worsen and I started to develop new symptoms, such as rigidity in my legs, feet, and back; dystonia (muscle cramping); excessive sweating; and difficulty keeping my balance steady. Due to my new symptoms, I had to begin to utilize a cane, in order to walk safely.
YOPD has changed my life, but I will not let it stop me. I continue to work with my doctors to keep me going. I have been living with Parkinson's since November of 2000. God gave me life and continues to give me the strength I need to live out each and every day of my life to the fullest.
Why Get Involved
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.
Thank you for helping me reach my fundraising goal to support the vital work of the National Parkinson Foundation