There are a few days in everyone’s life that you can look back and say, ‘that was the day my life changed forever. I knew immediately as I walked out of my doctor’s appointment on June 27th, 2014 everything in our life was just flipped upside down. I called Kristi, told her that the doctor was confident I had YOPD and what the next steps were. However, it wasn’t a slam dunk diagnosis. I had many tests over the next couple months to confirm the initial diagnosis. That October we took a trip to the Mayo clinic for a DAT Scan, that was the last piece in the 3-month long diagnosis process, our life did change forever on June 27th, 2014.
I met Kristi on 6/24/05, we were engaged on 9/23/06, married on 5/5/07, moved to Bologna, Italy on 9/23/08, 5/13/09 Luca was born, 3/16/11 Henry was born 1/23/13 Charlie and Sofia were born, July 14th is my birthday but it is also a reminder of a huge loss to our family. All these days contribute to who we are but those days didn’t significantly alter the course of our life like 6/27/14. The following Tuesday, 7/1/14, we had a second opinion at the University of MN with Dr. Tuite. After a few hours of discussion, we had a plan. I had to stay active! I had to build strength and endurance. On the way home we both bought Fitbits. That night our elliptical was used for exercise rather than a clothes hanger (see picture of me and my dad at the MLB All Star game in 2014, I was 292 lbs and 2 weeks after initial diagnosis) Over the next 4+ years we have maintained the active lifestyle Dr. Tuite told us I needed to have.
In the next couple weeks, we will be updating our website with details for the 2nd annual golf tournament and a couple new adventures we are working on.
Thanks for supporting our journey. To be clear we are fighting a tough opponent but we remain optimistic that if we win today there may be a cure tomorrow!
The first person to guess my current weight correctly, to the nearest whole pound, will win a Team Kopacz shirt. Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason and Kristi
Title of blog from Ben Newman, link below:
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!