Don't Get Sacked by Parkinson's:
In honor of Parkinson's Awareness Month, former professional football player and coach Forrest Gregg is teaming up with UCB Inc. to share his personal experiences living with Parkinson's disease (PD) as part of UCB's Parkinson's More Than Motion campaign. Gregg spent 40 years fighting for victory on the football field, but little did he know that after retirement, he would begin one of the biggest battles of his life.
In 2011, Gregg became one of the more than 60,000 Americans each year who are diagnosed with PD, a chronic, progressive, neurological disease. When he first learned of his diagnosis, Gregg adopted the same attitude that earned him the nickname "Iron Man" during his playing days: he didn't let PD sideline him.
He recently learned that along with the typical motor aspects of PD – such as slowness and tremors, or stiffness – there are also a wide range of non-motor symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping or memory problems associated with the disease. Gregg is sharing his story through a reality-style video series that is part of the Parkinson's More than Motion Facebook community. The series follows Gregg and his wife as they cope with the diagnosis and educate themselves about the full range of PD symptoms.
The video series also explores the importance of building an integrated care team that includes family, friends and health care providers, such as a physical therapist and a movement disorder specialist – a neurologist that specializes in the management of PD. "My journey with Parkinson's reminds me of my days playing and coaching professional football. It requires perseverance, hard work, dedication and learning all you can about the disease," says Gregg.
"Understanding the full range of Parkinson's symptoms and creating a game plan to manage the disease has helped me maintain my focus and keep my eye on the ball." Gregg is also featured on the cover of the newest issue of the More Than Motion magazine, a free publication available through the Facebook community.