Defying Parkinson's: Darlene Fassold
SARASOTA - For Chuck Fassold, it’s always been Darlene.
“It was a long time ago. I was 17; she was 15," Fassold said.
Chuck met Darlene through working with her father.
“On his desk at work he had a picture of Darlene and I thought she was kinda cute, you know,” he said.
From Ohio, the two moved all around the Midwest for chuck’s job.
“Chicago, Kansas, we lived in Michigan twice," Darlene said.
It was a fast-paced life, but four or five years ago, Darlene says she started to notice things were different.
“..stiffness, slow movement," Darlene said. "I always used to be fast.”
She says she couldn't even buckle her seat belt, and her speech got softer.
“I went on the internet, and it all stemmed to Parkinson's,” she said.
Darlene was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in April of 2017, and Chuck says she started fighting from day one.
“She started a boxing class in Toledo where she met her friend Ed, who told her about Parkinson Place here in Sarasota," Chuck said.
They moved to Sarasota, and now Darlene is at Parkinson Place more than she isn’t.
“I like the atmosphere, the camaraderie; people care about each other," she said.
She says the classes have improved her speech and flexibility. After 43 years of marriage, Chuck says though he needs to help Darlene with more than he did before, nothing’s changed between them.
“We’re still the same people we were before, the same couple," he said.
“I couldn’t do it without him," Darlene said.
Chuck’s not surprised at how hard Darlene works to defy Parkinson’s.
"I think it's determination for her, too, to keep pushing herself and keep going as long as she can go," Chuck said.
“You got Parkinson's, but so what? You just go," Darlene said.