Welcome to My Personal Page
This year I will be participating in Moving Day Tampa Bay - Virtual Walk, benefiting the Parkinson's Foundation in honor and support of my mom, Claudia Delgrosso. Please consider being a part of my team or sponsoring me, and I encourage you to share this page and learn more about Parkinson's. The more people who know and care about this disease, the closer we come to one day finding a cure.
What is Parkinson's Disease (PD):
Parkinson's disease is a progressive, incurable, nervous system disorder that occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, in an area of the brain that controls movement become impaired and/or die. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. It is characterized by its most common of motor symptoms—tremors, stiffness or rigidity of the muscles, and slowness of movement —but also manifests in non-motor symptoms including sleep problems, anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Why Move for Moving Day:
We take the ability to walk for granted, but with Parkinson’s, we simply cannot afford to. The event will be a fun-filled, family-friendly event for all ages and abilities. We will be able to enjoy a variety of movement activities like yoga, dance, Pilates, Tai Chi, boxing, stretching and much more and celebrate the importance of movement in our lives.
Why I Walk:
A little over 20 years ago my mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease. As her daughter, along with my family, we have experienced Parkinson’s by her side. Since her diagnosis, she has steadfastly done everything she can to ensure that she—not PD—is in control of her life. Despite my mom’s proactive approach to living with PD, over time we saw how the 'good days', when her motor-functions were "on", were increasingly being overshadowed by 'bad days', when her motor-functions were "off". Due to the unpredictable "on-off" fluctuations, caused by the progressive nature of PD and diminishing effectiveness of medications from prolonged use, she became the ideal candidate for Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. (DBS is a surgery to implant a device that sends electrical signals to brain areas responsible for body movement. Electrodes are placed deep in the brain and are connected to a stimulator device. Similar to a heart pacemaker, a neurostimulator uses electric pulses to regulate brain activity. DBS can help reduce the symptoms of tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking problems caused by Parkinson's disease.)
On November 7th, 2013—after 2 years of research, consultations and testing—my mom underwent DBS surgery. What always stands out to me about that day is that she didn’t have an ounce of nervousness. In-fact, she spent the morning talking to my sister and I about how excited she was for all the improvements that this surgery would bring to her life; Her positive nature and unwavering optimism has always been unavoidably contagious, and this day was no exception. So much so, that even when the surgeon came to tell us that he had to abort the surgery, as there had been a brain bleed while attempting to implant the first electrode, I wasn’t able to comprehend the seriousness of the situation; After all, even though the chances of what had just occurred was less than 1%, she was in the care of, arguably, the best DBS neurosurgeon in the country and the chances of the complication not resolving itself was virtually 0%.
It wasn’t until about a week later when we were told the hemorrhage was not shrinking that we realized the permanency of her traumatic brain injury. The hemorrhagic stroke that my mom had, during the surgery that was expected to drastically improve her quality of life, instead caused the left side of her body to become non-functional and almost took her life.
Over the years my mom has learned how to write, talk, and move again. And even though she still lives with the permanent effects of the DBS surgery, along with the progression of PD, what has never changed is her optimism and love of life. PD is not a disease for which you sit idly by; and my mom has always been the epitome of that. In addition to her own treatment, I have witnessed her selflessly give her time, resources, and support in the fight against Parkinson's. Her efforts have helped raise awareness and improve the lives of those living and caring for those with Parkinson's.
My mom is truly an inspiration and the best role model I could have. She has taught me to cherish life, to always look at the positive, and the importance of helping those in need. Through my mom’s journey with PD I have become cognizant of the huge need for awareness, improved treatment, and funding for Parkinson’s research. I have hope that one day there will be a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, and I know that it will be because of the efforts of people like my mom.
Did you know that someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every 9 minutes in the United States? No one should have to face Parkinson’s alone. That is why the Parkinson's Foundation provides a community of support to give people the resources and help they need to live well with Parkinson’s.
Support our mission to help every person diagnosed with Parkinson's live their best possible life now. Your gift will help us fund better research, better treatment and better lives.