Michael J. Fox Show Encourages Parkinson's Awareness

2 years 9 months 20 hours ago September 26, 2013 Sep 26, 2013 Thursday, September 26 2013 Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:22:00 PM CDT in News
By: Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor

COLUMBIA - The Michael J. Fox Show premiered Thursday on NBC and for Dave and Patsy Dalton it means more than the return of a familiar face to television. Michael J. Fox stars in the show as beloved New York Anchor Mike Henry who decides to go back to work despite having Parkinson's.

Dave and Patsy can relate to Fox's new sitcom. 19 years ago, at the age of 44 Dave started noticing changes. He couldn't tap his feet to the beat of music or stand up straight. He was at a fitting for a suit when he decided it was time to go to the doctor.

"It seemed like a catastrophe," Dave said. "He walks in the door and says I see you have Parkinson's and I had no idea."

"We both sat there and we looked at each other and we said did you hear what I heard and it was just astounding we knew nothing about it," Patsy said. "He was called a young onset, it changed our lives for both of us of course."

Parkinson's typically hits its victims around the age of 50. The disease occurs when there's a lack of a chemical in the brain called dopamine that controls movement and posture. Common symptoms include dizziness, tremors and slowed speech.

"I had been a CPA and I couldn't keep doing that," Dave said.

"He had to take disability when he was 51, and we then both retired earlier," Patsy said. "19 years later, it pretty much calls the shots on a lot of what we do."

The couple retired early to focus on each other.

"We feel that it probably makes our marriage deeper, we've had each other," Patsy said.

"It's gotten stronger, she is my life. She's a great person the smartest person I know and that's going some place," Dave said.

The most unsettling thing about this crippling illness is there's no cure. Even though devices implanted in Dave's brain trick it into thinking there's dopamine, he still struggles with the disease.

"I try to maintain a sense of humor," he said.

That's where the Michael J Fox show comes in, putting Parkinson's in the national spotlight.

"Show people more and more features and characters of Parkinson's and even now people don't understand the disease and it has a lot of components," Patsy said.
"I hope that they learn from it that it's not the end of the world and it isn't," Dave said.

Dave hasn't let Parkinson's hamper his happiness, much like Fox. He's hoping more people will do the same.

"When you're laughing it's hard to be unhappy."

The Dalton's are hosting a watch party for the show's premiere for the local Parkinson's support group. The pair also runs a support group at the Lake of the Ozarks. Patsy said it's important to have people to relate to when you're struggling with an illness like Parkinson's.

"It's wonderful to have other people who are like you and dealing with Parkinson's, you have somebody to talk to you and share questions with," Patsy said.

For more information on Parkinson's disease, click here

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Supreme Court of the Untied States voted against Texas’s anti-abortion laws, Monday morning. A five to three... More >>
2 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 10:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Better Business Bureau warns a series of real estate seminars might not be what they claim. ... More >>
5 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 7:27:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Transportation was sliding the third new bridge in place on I-70 Monday at Business... More >>
7 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 5:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The first principal, president and key founding figure of Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School will resign this... More >>
7 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 5:21:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Monday that would have allowed Missourians to carry a concealed fire arm... More >>
9 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The head of a Missouri-based hotel chain that has 35 properties in 16 states says her company... More >>
9 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 3:37:18 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Dry weather conditions are creating dangerous conditions for setting off fireworks around the Fourth of July holiday. ... More >>
9 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 3:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say one of the two people who died when a car ran off an interstate... More >>
10 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 2:46:45 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - You would think I might be making this one up, but I’m not. Today is National Sunglasses Day.... More >>
10 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 2:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A U.S. Supreme Court ruling is calling into question whether some Missouri abortion regulations will stand.... More >>
11 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 1:57:07 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 25-year-old man is accused of fatally shooting four of his family members then burning their... More >>
11 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 1:16:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Republican who ushered a sweeping gun rights bill through the House says he hopes lawmakers... More >>
11 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 1:00:27 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis branch of Death Cafe, a group that gathers regularly to discuss death and... More >>
12 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:50:10 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 49-year-old man has been charged with stabbing his sister to death after an argument about... More >>
12 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:38:34 PM CDT in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a St. Joseph homicide victim. The St. Joseph News-Press... More >>
12 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:32:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men are charged with assault motivated by discrimination for allegedly throwing eggs and shouting racial... More >>
12 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department announced Monday in a news release 24-year-old Quenten Maurice Hurt and 23-year-old Darryl Eugene... More >>
13 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 11:22:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol released the results Monday of two sobriety checkpoints conducted over the weekend.... More >>
14 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 10:36:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
1am 75°
2am 74°
3am 73°
4am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:07a
The Insider
1:37a
Access Hollywood
12:30a
The King of Queens
1:00a
The King of Queens
1:30a
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
8:00p
America's Got Talent
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Containment
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld