CHAMPs > Parkinson's CHAMP

September 2017 - The Betty Bunch


May 6, 2015, the day I was officially diagnosed with Tremor Dominant Parkinson’s, I was 57. Not a real shock, but a blow nonetheless. My mom, Marie was diagnosed with PD in her early 80’s. Her Aunt Rose also had PD, so I was not totally unfamiliar with the disease.

Initially I did not want to share my diagnosis with my then 87 year old Mom. Why make her worry? She was a master at worrying, especially when it came to her three girls. I should have realized I couldn't get it past her. Actually, I received the best advice from her. She simply looked at me and said, “Keep moving!”. My Mom passed away this past October at 89. I miss her every day, but I know she is with me. I still hear her encouraging words “Keep moving!” and remind myself, why not?

I am a healthy person who happens to have PD. I am also blessed with a loving supportive family and a tight knit group of close friends. My daughter, Jackie really stepped up. As a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, she decided to move back to New York to dedicate her life’s work to helping me and others fight back against PD.

In March, Jackie, my sister, Maria and I got certified as Rock Steady Boxing coaches. We recently became affiliated with the Rock Steady Boxing program and have begun teaching our own classes. Rock Steady Boxing of Long Island was born!

In doing her research, Jackie learned about the Parkinson’s Unity Walk scheduled in New York City for April 22, 2017. Along with my family and friends we became “The Betty Bunch.” That day was so special and heartwarming. I truly felt blessed with the outpouring of love and support, it was an awesome experience. When the 2017 Walk was closed, the PUW staff notified us that we were the top rookie team this year. It is a distinction our team is proud of! I am so grateful to be part of this event. This Walk not only creates a sense of community, but helps raise awareness and funds for research in fighting back against Parkinson’s and ultimately, one day discovering a cure for this disease.

I am looking forward to The Betty Bunch walking and raising more funds for this terrific event
next year and for many more years to come. Always remember, “When I becomes WE, even
illness becomes wellness!”

Betty Fanneron
Team Member, The Betty Bunch