Eric Aquino

One and a half years after developing what I now realize was one of the first PD motor symptoms, a resting tremor, and two weeks after my 40th birthday, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. It was February 20, 2018, and I must admit, the news did not surprise me. At this point, I had been working in the emergency medical service field for close to 18 years as an EMT with 12 years of non-profit fundraising and awareness campaign experience as the President of a local Pink Heals chapter (easily recognized by their pink fire trucks. In addition, I was also keenly aware of the effects of PD having taken care of my grandmother, who lived with and managed, disheartening at times, her own Parkinson’s diagnosis.

What did come as a surprise, however, was the lack of local resources for the Parkinson’s community in my area. Such as support groups, or programs tailored for PWD With the support of my family and close friends, I decided to use these life experiences to create a local nonprofit organization, the Gray Strong Foundation. As an Aware in Care ambassador and through the Gray Strong foundation, we offer much-needed support and Parkinson’s disease (PD) awareness to the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas via fundraising initiatives, @tremblingEMT social media tips, podcasts, medial resource information (Keep Moving Forward Guide), and support groups.

I then started a podcast called Trembling EMT: My Parkinson’s Journey to share my story and spread Parkinson's disease awareness. Trembling EMT podcast and social media channels follow my journey with Parkinson’s disease. What started off as a suggestion from my sister has become an outlet for telling my personal unique journey. You will find a younger voice here, as I debunk the myth that Parkinson’s is an “old people disease”. The Trembling EMT The podcast is full of candid stories and chockfull interviews with people living with Parkinson’s, physical therapists and others involved with Moving Forward with Parkinson’s. I quickly learned that I wasn’t alone in this fight and neither are you! Whether you are the person with Parkinson’s or the family member or a care partner, You should Not have to do this alone. There is a huge community supporters and resources to help you. Remember you are still the same person with dreams and goal after getting diagnosed. you just now need a little more support and new set of resources to accomplish your dreams and goals I continue to work as a licensed EMT, currently as a Safety Specialist at a local Amazon warehouse. I’ve been married for 19+ years with 2 kids, Theo, 17, and Elena, 15. I have a dog
named Benny and 2 turtles, Lulu and Lola.


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