T² (Todd's Team)
Thank you for visiting our team site. 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. YOPD typically progresses slower than PD in an older patient, but it also presents different challenges as somebody with YOPD still has to juggle a job, 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 include shaking, rigidity, and slowness of movement. For me, rigidity and slowness are the primary symptoms, with an occasional tremor. The hardest part is that my hands and arms don’t always move the way I want them too. My current drug regiment is 15 doses a day, which is pretty typical for people with PD. Without insurance my medications would cost $20,000 annually, which is a considerable amount of money.
My life has changed a lot since I was diagnosed. I am now married with three kids under the age of 4. The kids serve as motivation to do all I can to fight off the disease, but they also contribute to a lack of sleep and exercise. They don’t know that I have PD, although they’re aware of my dopamine patch and that I need to stretch in the morning. My wife Lori Ann is very supportive, whether it be watching the kids while I exercise, or making me rest.
While my Parkinson’s is not very aggressive at this point, it is always present, and will be until we find a cure. That is why I encourage you to consider joining Todd’s Team, or making a donation. Over the past six years we have been joined by an ever-growing amount of teammates and have raised over $60,000. The challenges of Parkinson’s still exist and as of yet there is no cure, but I am hopeful that with your donation more people will get the support and resources they need now, and one day soon we will put an end to this disease.
With Gratitude and Thanks,
Todd and Team