I am participating in the Moving Day Boca Raton, benefiting the National Parkinson Foundation South Palm Beach County Chapter on November 16th, 2014. This is the second year that my team "The Fighting Swords" have participated in this event. We had a great turnout last year and were one of the top fundraising teams.
The event will take place on the FAU Campus 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.
As many of you know I was diagnosed almost six years with Early Onset Parkinson Disease. The diagnosis was devastating particularly after witnessing my mom battle this disease after she was diagnosed in 1980. Leading up to my diagnosis in December of 2008, I had experienced some symptoms such as lack of arm swing, body rigidity, weight loss, and insomnia. But it was the tremors I experienced in November of that year that made me realize I had Parkinson Disease.
The first few months after my diagnosis were very difficult. In addition to the pain and other symptoms I was suffering from, I also had problems adapting to the prescribed medications that I was taking. I was also in a state of denial. This is typical of many newly diagnosed PD patients. It is one of the reasons that I now participate and speak to many newly diagnosed PD patients through individual meetings or in support groups.
This past summer we were visiting my sister in law and family in Tiburon, California. Early one afternoon we heard ambulance sirens in the distance from their house. A few hours later we learned that those ambulances were responding to the residence of comedian Robin Williams. As it became public we learned that Robin Williams had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson Disease. I often think that if he had been in a support group he might have been able to deal with the disease. He suffered from bouts of depression, which is also a common symptom of PD.
When I was first diagnosed, I felt overwhelmed by the diagnosis and its symptoms. It took me several months to accept, but with the help of close friends and family, particularly my wife, sister, and brother I was finally able to aggressively battle the disease. To this day, I battle this disease through an aggressive exercise regimen, medications, diet and also through the support of my family and friends. Words can’t describe my gratitude that I have for friends who helped me through the first few months and even today.
The money raised by the Moving Day Event will be used for research, support programs and also caregivers. Nobody knows what causes this disease, but based on personal experience, I definitely think environmental factors are one of the factors. I would love to see more research in this area.
Please join/donate to our team, “The Fighting Swords”. You can register at www.movingdaybocaraton.org. There are links to donate by searching for a team or individual. The event starts at 8 AM, with the majority of activities beginning at 9AM including the one mile walk that starts just before 10AM. There will be live music, zumba dancing, a movement pavilion. Through a close friend I was also able to have the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders and alumni make an appearance. I won’t be wearing my Jet T-Shirt that day.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped and I look forward to seeing you on November 16th
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 $180 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.