Hello, I am Todd, the namesake of this team. I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease (YOPD) in late October 2012. At the time I was 31, about half the age of most Parkinson's patients. While less common (YOPD effects 10% of all PD patients), Parkinson's can effect young people, as I've found out first hand. While YOPD typically progresses slower than PD in an older patient, it presents different challenges as somebody with YOPD still has to juggle a job, a relationship, family, etc, along with the disease.
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disorder resulting from the loss of dopamine-generating cells. While it affects people in many different ways, common symptoms includes shaking, rigidity, and slowness of movement. For me rigidity and slowness are the primary symptoms. While these limitations are frustrating they are also pretty minor compared to what some Parkinson's patients are going through.
I have been diagnosed for almost two years and it has been a roller coaster. Last summer I ended up leaving my doctor and pushing “reset” which was frustrating at the time. However, changing doctors was the best move I could have made. My current doctor is focused on YOPD and has a long-term outlook. We have been able to find an effective combination of medications, which combined with regular exercise and stretching, has me feeling better than I have since I was diagnosed.
I have been fortunate to have an awesome family, an amazing fiancé, and a great group of friends. Last year Todd’s Team had 25 people join us as we raised an incredible $12,500! Thank you so much to those that donated last year, and we hope you will consider donating again. The challenges of Parkinsons still exist and as of yet there is no cure. I am hopeful that with your donation more people will get the support and resources they need, and one day we will find a cure.
With Gratitude and Thanks,
Todd and Team