At Iris Rodriguez-Cavallo’s 50th birthday party, her cousin, Miriam Rodriguez, who is a nurse, noticed Iris was walking strangely. She thought the symptoms could be neurological and told Iris to see a neurologist. She was right. Iris was diagnosed with Parkinson’s after her first visit to the University of Miami Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders Center, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence.
“In a way, I was relieved to find out what was wrong with me, but I kept thinking about what I was going to do next,” Iris said. She found her answer a few days later while watching a local news segment about a dance class tailored to people with Parkinson’s. “I saw people like me dancing, socializing, having fun and exercising,” Iris said.
Iris learned that the class was free due to a community grant sponsored by the foundation and that anyone with Parkinson’s could attend. The class became her favorite way to work out and meet people in the Parkinson’s community. A recent study, funded by the foundation, discovered that 2.5 hours of weekly exercise can help manage Parkinson’s symptoms.
She searched online for the foundation and was excited to find local support groups, videos about Parkinson’s and Moving Day®, A Walk for Parkinson’s. For the last three years, Iris has been a Team Captain for Moving Day Miami, helping to raise Parkinson’s awareness and dancing to help manage her Parkinson’s symptoms. Iris’ dance class is just one of the local Parkinson’s programs supported by our annual community grant funding.
“I have an amazing care team at a Center of Excellence in Florida. My support group led me to Moving Day® Miami, which provides community grants to my favorite PD dance class. I’ve really come full circle with the help of the foundation. Help them keep these programs available for people like me and our caregivers.”
Funds raised from Moving Day in its 2015-2016 season were distributed to 23 health, wellness, and education programs across six cities.
Join Iris at Moving Day® Miami, taking place November 12, 2017, at www.movingdaymiami.org.