Join us for a day featuring presentations by notable medical experts and presenters on a wide range of topics pertinent to “Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease.”
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Deaconess Gateway Pavilion, Ortho-Neuro Hospital
4011 Gateway Blvd
Newburgh, IN 47630
FREE to attend
Jimmy Choi “American Ninja Warrior Seasons 9 and 10”
In 2003, I [Jimmy] was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 27. It all started with small symptoms that could be explained away by everyday life. Stiffness can be caused by golf (I golfed 4-5 days a week back in 2003), balance issues could be explained by clumsiness or just being tired, small twitches could be explained by everyday stress at work.
When I was finally given the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, I immediately went into denial. I did nothing for the next 7-8 years and just went through the motions.
By 2010, I weighed 240 lbs and walked with a cane. One day while carrying my then infant son Mason down the stairs, I lost my balance and we both fell a full flight of stairs. Thankfully Mason and I were OK and physically unharmed, but mentally, I would not be the same. Fear of the future and fear for my family gripped me during that short trip down the stairs. I vowed to myself, I would do what it takes to take back control of what Parkinson’s has robbed from me physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I knew I wasn’t smart enough to find the cure, so I did what I can to enable those who were. Between 2010 and 2012, I participated in numerous clinical trials; giving up my body in the hopes that the data collected by researchers can lead us closer to a cure. One thing I found that was a common theme to all the different research initiatives is physical activity. This trend boosted me into becoming more active physically and mentally. It was during this time that I noticed forced physical activity such as physical therapy and movement studies made me feel better. The more active I was, the better I felt.
My brother-in-law, a frequent runner, encouraged me to add short runs into my routine. Those short runs became longer and longer. In April of 2012, I completed my first ever 5K. By July, my first 10K, by September my first half marathon and by October, I was ready take on my first marathon.
When I decided to attempt my first marathon, the 2012 Chicago Marathon was sold out and the only way in was a charity bib. That is when I found Team Fox and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. It was about a month before the race, and they had ONE bib left. I have always felt that one bib was left there for a reason. It was meant for ME. I got involved, and it started me on a journey that has become crucial on how I live my life today.
Team Fox gave me access to a support system of like-minded people with and without Parkinson’s. Positive mindset, passion and dedication to help finding a cure, and a support system that I have been seeking from the start of my journey.
Jimmy’s Stats since 2012
5K’s – Lost count
10K’s – Lost count
Half Marathons – 101
Marathons – 15
Ultra Marathons – 1
50+ Mile Bike – Many
Grand Fondos – 6
American Ninja Warrior Seasons 9 and 10
$$$ Raised for research – ~$250K
… and I’m not stopping soon.
Thank You to our Program Sponsors!