Defying Parkinson's: Ron Christofaro
SARASOTA - Ron Christofaro says it all started five or six years ago.
“We would go to a movie with friends, and we’d all get out of the car at the same time, and I’d be the last one up to the theater," Christofaro said.
He and his wife Barbara knew something was wrong.
“My primary physician said to me one day, 'I think you have Parkinson’s,' and not giving me any reason why,” Christofaro said.
He says he was confused and scared for what was to come.
“My first question was, 'Well, how long do I have to live?' They said, 'It’s not gonna kill you, but your lifestyle’s gonna change," Christofaro said.
He tried medication but didn’t react well.
“..hallucinations and nightmares, terrible nightmares. She’d go to wake me up and she couldn’t wake me up," Christofaro said.
Now he uses medical marijuana for pain and goes to classes everyday at Parkinson Place.
“I just think it’s the next thing to sliced bread," Christofaro said.
He says it's helping his mobility and giving him a purpose.
“If it wasn’t for Parkinson Place you probably wouldn’t be interviewing me today. I can’t imagine how depressed I’d be and probably in another mental state," Christofaro said.
Ron says his biggest challenge is walking, but he has a walker and cane. Plus, he has Barbara.
“I don’t know what I would've done without her. She’s really been my crutch,” he said.
“Everyday we find something to laugh about," Barbara said.