Tom Cosentino

Ocean View, Delaware

My Parkinson’s journey started in San Francisco in the summer of 2015 when my wife and daughter noticed that I was no longer swinging my left arm. Not giving it much thought at the time, I continued with my day. However, in August of that year, my younger brother passed away from cancer. I 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, I wasn’t originally diagnosed as such. In fact, it took a couple of months for the doctor to acknowledge a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Since being officially diagnosed, I have been incredibly lucky to meet several people within the Parkinson’s community who have helped me greatly. I can safely say that if it weren’t for three or four individuals, I would be a much different person today. I am fascinated that I have yet to meet anybody that isn’t helpful! I’ve worked with many foundations and organizations as a Parkinson’s advocate and am inspired by watching people with Parkinson’s participate in activities such as Pedaling for Parkinson’s and Rock Steady Boxing. I see these individuals not as people with Parkinson’s but as warriors who refuse to allow Parkinson’s to determine their life.

During a conversation I had about why it takes so much effort to be happy with Parkinson’s, I realized that I could choose to be happy and work toward that goal, or I could do nothing and be miserable. For me, living well with Parkinson’s means that I am making a conscious effort to find joy and happiness in life and am doing everything I can to manage my Parkinson’s rather than let Parkinson’s manage me. I am most excited by the opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to me.

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