Ocean View, Delaware
Tom’s Parkinson’s journey started in San Francisco in the summer of 2015 when his wife and daughter noticed that Tom was no longer swinging his left arm. Not giving it much thought at the time, Tom continued with his day. However, in August of that year, his younger brother passed away from cancer. Tom was fortunate to be at his side during that time and, at some point, discovered tremors beginning in his left arm. Like most people with Parkinson’s, Tom wasn’t originally diagnosed as such. In fact, it took a couple months for the doctor to acknowledge a Parkinson’s diagnosis.
Since being officially diagnosed, Tom has been incredibly lucky to meet several people within the Parkinson’s community that have helped him greatly. He can safely say that, if it weren’t for three or four individuals, he would be a much different person today. Tom is fascinated that he has yet to meet anybody that isn’t helpful! Tom worked with many foundations and organizations as a Parkinson’s advocate and is inspired by watching people with Parkinson’s participate in activities such as Pedaling for Parkinson’s and Rock Steady Boxing. He sees these individuals not as people with Parkinson’s but as warriors who refused to allow Parkinson’s to determine their life.
During a conversation about why it takes so much effort to be happy with Parkinson’s, Tom realized that he could choose to be happy and work toward that goal, or he could do nothing and be miserable. For Tom, living well with Parkinson’s means that he is making a conscious effort to find the joy and happiness in life and is doing everything he can to manage his Parkinson’s, rather than let his Parkinson’s manage him. Tom is most excited by the opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to him.