My name is Rob, I'm 42 years old and I have Parkinson's Disease (PD). I was diagnosed at the age of 33 with young onset PD. For the past nine years, I've gone through many different emotional stages of the disease, probably the same one’s others have gone through — denial, fear, anxiety, anger, the "why me" stage and years of trying to hide the symptoms from my friends and coworkers. I've attempted to be part of a few medical trials here and there, which have frustrated me. I'm either too young, or if you can believe, too old, I’ve taken a certain medicine for two weeks too long or not long enough.
Then came my resolve to fight the disease with all I've got.
In November 2015 I elected to have deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. After a few adjustments, I'm doing well and have reduced my medications from 20 pills a day to five! The surgery was performed at USC Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center, a Center of Excellence. The team has been excellent. This comprehensive care team includes a movement disorder neurologist, neurosurgeon, nurse practitioner who does my programming and a physical therapist. I couldn't have asked for a more caring and thorough team.
Because exercise is well known to slow down the progression of the disease, I've trained and completed one Olympic and quite a few sprint distance triathlons. The best one of all though was one I did last March, the Pasadena Triathlon, because I was able to do it with my two oldest daughters.
I have the opportunity to compete in the Pasadena Triathlon again with my daughters and now my 9-year-old son wants in on the action as well! This year I hope to earn donations for Team Hope™ as we strive for a cure.
I've been blessed with an awesome and supportive wife and family. With them and my faith in a Father in Heaven who knows me personally, I know that no matter what, I'm going to make it through this trial. I have faith that I'll see a cure in my lifetime! Fight's On!