Patti was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) eight years ago, during 2012 Christmas break. She was a full-time culinary teacher at the time. In the beginning, PD only slowed Patti down a little. She continued to work five years after being diagnosed.
Patti retired three years ago at the end of the 2017 school year. Shortly after, her symptoms worsened. It became difficult to talk, walk and use utensils. Her medicine increased to eight pills a day and was not lasting between doses. She was experiencing tremors and having trouble completing daily tasks.
She underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS) about a year ago. Since the surgery, Patti has cut down on her medicine and she experiences less tremors. Unfortunately, the surgery did not take care of her balance problems.
Currently Patti uses a wheelchair to get around. She needs help with daily tasks, but that does not stop her from traveling and enjoying her retirement. Patti goes to Florida multiple times a year.
To stay busy, Patti goes to therapy once a week and to an adult day care. She has taken up knitting and is getting back into sewing.
Patti got involved in Parkinson’s Foundation Moving Day, A walk for Parkinson’s, because of her niece, Ellen McQuaid. Ellen is the captain for team “McQuaid/Owens,” which has participated in three Moving Day walks in Providence and Boston over the past two years. “We look forward to making Moving Day an annual event to keep raising awareness of Parkinson’s,” Ellen said.
"Moving Day, and the funds we are raising for the Parkinson’s Foundation, has come to mean a lot to our family,” Ellen said. “We have been coming together to raise funds in new ways throughout the year. We especially are grateful for all the genetic research that is being done, as PD is now affecting a second generation in our family and we are doing everything we can to prevent it from affecting future generations."