Theresa Snoeyenbos, 50, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when she was 32 years old, but it was over a decade before she got the real help she needed.
For years, Theresa’s treatment primarily consisted of a fistful of medictions she swallowed each day. “I ended up getting really sick, suffering from depression and being hospitalized for 12 days,” she said. Eventually, the Wisconsin mother-of-three and her husband were forced to sell their family-run motel. She took a desk job, but her symptoms interfered with work so she resigned. “I felt pretty worthless,” she said.
After job loss, divorce and a move, “lock, stock and barrel,” to her parent’s home in suburban minneapolis, the nightmare finally ended. Theresa got an appointment with a top neurologist at Struthers Parkinson’s Center, an NPF Center of Excellence. “Dr. martha Nance took me off of every med I was on and had me start completely over again. I went from 12 meds to three,” she said. “And her wonderful staff treated the whole person. They taught me all kinds of things to help myself, and it’s made a big difference.”
Since her diagnosis 18 years ago, Theresa earned a black belt in Taekwondo. more recently, she reached another turning point. "I had deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery in may," she said. "It's given me such hope."