Baseball in the Kopacz family is a big deal, especially Twins baseball. I wanted to be the next Kent Hrbek, I cried when Kirby retired, I still get chills when I hear “and we’ll see you tomorrow night” and it feels like yesterday when my dad and I were hugging and screaming alongside the 4 million people that were at game 7 in 1991 (you will have to watch the Diamond Awards to understand that joke, thanks TK!). My dad and I brought Luca to opening day at Target Field in 2010, I’m sure he doesn’t remember anything about the game but I wasn’t going to let that moment pass without him. Luckily, I did because in the top of the first Kevin Youkilis hit a foul ball and with Luca sleeping in my right arm I stood up and snatched the second foul ball in target field history with my left hand! Fast forward to the spring of 2014, I just started my career with Polaris, Charlie and Sofia turned 1 and that summer the MN Twins hosted the all-star game with the homerun derby on the night of my birthday. Kristi and I just made it through the toughest most rewarding year of our lives and then we were run over by my diagnosis of PD in late June. I was looking so forward to the all-star weekend and 2 weeks before it we had to process the diagnosis and figure out if we had to tell my family before the weekend or not. I knew how much my dad was looking forward to the weekend so I decided that we should wait until after the all-Star game to tell them. The all-Star game allowed me and Kristi to try to forget about the uncertainty of my diagnosis for a couple of hours and enjoy the festivities at Target Field.
When Eva contacted us about sharing our PD journey at the 2019 Diamond Awards the answer had to be yes! The Diamond Awards are a yearly celebration that brings together the MN Twins and the University of MN to raise money for research efforts towards finding a cure for not only PD but many other neurological diseases. The University of MN foundation raised over $300,000, had 600+ people attended that night with 23 representing Team Kopacz! The MN Twins and the University of MN are great ambassadors for the state of Minnesota and the Midwest, both organizations work hard to make our communities better. It was an honor to share our story and have Team Kopacz coupled with two great organizations.
As a MN Twins fan this time of year always bring optimism, spring training is here, everyone is discussing the impact players and if the Twins can pull it together for another magical run like in 1987 and 1991! My take away from the Diamond Awards is that the Twins are assembling a team not only focused on wins and losses but they are also focused on giving back. I hope our paths cross again!
Over the next couple weeks, we will be finalizing the golf tournament. We will be sending out the information on 3/1/19.
One of our goals this year is to run one race per month. So far, we are 2 for 2 (Disney Half in January and Valentine’s day 5K in February). If anyone is interested in running with Team Kopacz, we are signed up to run the Hot Dash on March 23rd (10 miles) and Goldy’s run on 4/7/19 (5k).
Exercise is the only countermeasure to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. Our journey started in July of 2014 when Jason was diagnosed with PD at the age of 36. Since that day we have been living an extremely active life style. This blog will be mainly focused on the activities that support the day to day changes PD throws at us!