As 2019 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past year. While I can confidently say my Parkinson’s symptoms have progressed, I can also confidently say they continue to not impair my ability to live my life as I want to and not limit progress toward my personal goals.
I am always humbled by the amazing accomplishments of those I have met within the PD community. There are some incredible people doing incredible things.
I made a conscious effort in 2019 to raise my pubic profile through more active advocacy, appearing in multiple print and online profiles during 2019. I also appeared in a television commercial and advocacy campaign for my local hospital. Finally, Dee Dee and I are interviewed in a video that is part of the newly launched program PD IQ + You through the Michael J Fox Foundation, appearing in Atlanta and Los Angeles symposiums this year, with more planned in 2020.
From a physical challenge standpoint, I am very proud to say I ran a 26 minute 5k race (previous best 33 minutes). I also completed my very first Spartan Sprint race. Working with my ninja warrior friend, Jimmy Choi, I learned to scale the 12 foot warped wall. I also significantly lowered my fastest lap times driving at three different road course tracks.
Rock Steady Boxing continues to be a significant part of my life. I am thrilled that we welcomed 21 new fighters to RSB Peoria during 2019. I was honored to be asked by legendary speed bagger, Alan Kahn, to help him teach speed bag skills to Rock Steady coaches from around the world at the annual Coach Con in Phoenix. The highlight of which was coaching Rock Steady founder Scott Newman.
Finally, I raised over $16,000 for the Michael J Fox Foundation, including hosting my very first Team Fox event, the Race at Parkinson’s Pace. Dee Dee and I were thrilled to attend the MVP dinner event in New York for our Team Fox as a top 2018 fundraiser ($12,000) in April this year and look forward to the event again in April next year.
What a great year 2019 has been! I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring, starting with a major initiative I will announce on Jan 1.
Happy New Year!
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