Jerry Cooper from Watertown, SD
Nominated by Mary Freeman
Episodes of freezing may be a complication of Parkinson's disease, but Jerry Cooper experiences none of it when it comes to devising ways to combat the progression of symptoms. In 2008, Jerry visited a neurologist for what he thought was a pinched nerve in his neck and came away, instead, with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
Only 56 years old, Jerry is determined to combat the progression of symptoms in every way available to him. He avidly researches effective exercise regimens and is currently involved in developing an aggressive cross-training program for himself. He participates in a Body Pump class balanced by a Yoga class at a local gym. In addition to these group activities, Jerry bicycles to work and is learning to play racquetball.
Jerry is as energetic on behalf of the entire Parkinson community as he is for his own benefit. He is a loyal member of the local Parkinson's support group and an energetic engineer of fundraising events. August 25, 2012, he will host Watertown, South Dakota's 3rd Annual Parkinson Awareness Walk. Funds raised by this event have been donated to the NPF South Dakota Chapter, to the Watertown Parkinson Support Group and to the National Parkinson Foundation.
Currently, Jerry is planning a "Poker Run", a travelling event to raise funds as well as awareness. He is also in preliminary discussion with the YMCA about a possible racquet ball tourney. Jerry is a true Parkinson's Superstar!