Parkinson's Assistance Foundation

Parkinson's Assistance Foundation

Welcome to Parkinson's Assistance Foundation

About Us

Our staff & volunteers

Our staff is a caring group of tireless volunteers, dedicated to the well being of Parkinson's Patients.

Our staff & volunteers

Our staff is a caring group of tireless volunteers, dedicated to the well being of Parkinson's Patients.

Our history


My name is Dan O’Brien. Up until the age of 58 I was a professional musician who enjoyed great health and had an idyllic life playing my guitar and singing in venues large and small across the country. During my career, I was fortunate to be able to meet and perform with many famous… and infamous musicians…

That all changed late December of 2011. After a performance in Fort Lauderdale I jumped off the stage and my leg gave out, sending me to the ground. More embarrassed than hurt; I got up and thought nothing more of it. A painful left hand eventually developed into a very slight twitch in my index finger. Later, in the Summer of 2012 while in Gainesville, I had the chance to see Dr. Michelle Okun of Shand’s Hospital… That meeting was to be a life changing moment for me. After several hours of testing it was determined that I had Parkinson's Disease.

As you might imagine, that news was very shocking to say the least. I had no idea what Parkinson's was, except from the videos of people such as Michael J Fox and Muhammad Ali. It wasn't something that was in my family tree and I thought only old people got it!

My initial reaction was one of panic. How would I cope with this? What effect would this have on my wife, Karen. At the time, with no health insurance, medication costs were out of the question. As it turned out, that was a blessing in disguise.

Upon returning home, I began my search for ways to deal with this new reality. I entered into a clinical trial for a bio marker test that eventually became the standard for definitive diagnosis of my disease…  During this early period, a sense of calm came over me that continues to this day. The stress of daily life became a non issue and my compassion and tolerance levels increased dramatically.

Things progressed at a pretty much normal pace for the next year or so… Searching for information… Interviewing potential neurologists and just trying to get along.

In 2014 a friend contacted me regarding a Laser therapy that she was doing and asked if I would be interested in trying it out to see how it affected my Parkinson's. I truly believe that her efforts have been beneficial in the slow progression of my condition, and we are currently working on a new approach.

As the years went by, my symptoms did get a little worse, necessitating my having to try medication to control tremors and the host of other issues related to this disease. After trying several different ones, I settled on the industry standard cabadopa/levodopa ( discovered in 1967)

In April of 2016 I wrote a short book about Parkinson's Disease and began giving out copies to anyone who would take one! I'm very happy to say that many people have benefited from this endeavor, and it is currently being given, free of charge, to newly diagnosed patients at Holy Cross Hospitals Neuroscience Center.

It was during this time that the idea for The Parkinson's Assistance Foundation came into being. From speaking with people in our community and around the world through the marvel of social media, it was apparent that many of those individuals were struggling with basic needs related to their condition. Be it not having the funds to afford medications… lack of information about alternative treatments or just having someone who could relate to what they were going through, the need was there. I teamed up with several friends of mine, and we decided to start our foundation. At the end of 2016 we became a 501 c3 non profit foundation.

As I have never been actively involved in such an undertaking, it has been a learning experience. Through the direct involvement of generous donors we have been able to provide financial assistance to several individuals in our community struggling to pay for their medications. We have assisted in finding health insurance for some and are currently in the process of developing music therapy, exercise and counseling services to those in need. We are in talks with several local hospitals in an attempt to reach a larger target of people in need of help.

While there are many fine groups that donate to research, our goal is to help with the day to day issues Parkinson's patients face. Having dealt with this illness for almost five years, I can say that stress is the number one issue that causes symptoms to worsen. Being able to lessen that, by financial assistance and providing a strong base of support to those in need is the ultimate goal of our endeavors.

Our history


My name is Dan O’Brien. Up until the age of 58 I was a professional musician who enjoyed great health and had an idyllic life playing my guitar and singing in venues large and small across the country. During my career, I was fortunate to be able to meet and perform with many famous… and infamous musicians…

That all changed late December of 2011. After a performance in Fort Lauderdale I jumped off the stage and my leg gave out, sending me to the ground. More embarrassed than hurt; I got up and thought nothing more of it. A painful left hand eventually developed into a very slight twitch in my index finger. Later, in the Summer of 2012 while in Gainesville, I had the chance to see Dr. Michelle Okun of Shand’s Hospital… That meeting was to be a life changing moment for me. After several hours of testing it was determined that I had Parkinson's Disease.

As you might imagine, that news was very shocking to say the least. I had no idea what Parkinson's was, except from the videos of people such as Michael J Fox and Muhammad Ali. It wasn't something that was in my family tree and I thought only old people got it!

My initial reaction was one of panic. How would I cope with this? What effect would this have on my wife, Karen. At the time, with no health insurance, medication costs were out of the question. As it turned out, that was a blessing in disguise.

Upon returning home, I began my search for ways to deal with this new reality. I entered into a clinical trial for a bio marker test that eventually became the standard for definitive diagnosis of my disease…  During this early period, a sense of calm came over me that continues to this day. The stress of daily life became a non issue and my compassion and tolerance levels increased dramatically.

Things progressed at a pretty much normal pace for the next year or so… Searching for information… Interviewing potential neurologists and just trying to get along.

In 2014 a friend contacted me regarding a Laser therapy that she was doing and asked if I would be interested in trying it out to see how it affected my Parkinson's. I truly believe that her efforts have been beneficial in the slow progression of my condition, and we are currently working on a new approach.

As the years went by, my symptoms did get a little worse, necessitating my having to try medication to control tremors and the host of other issues related to this disease. After trying several different ones, I settled on the industry standard cabadopa/levodopa ( discovered in 1967)

In April of 2016 I wrote a short book about Parkinson's Disease and began giving out copies to anyone who would take one! I'm very happy to say that many people have benefited from this endeavor, and it is currently being given, free of charge, to newly diagnosed patients at Holy Cross Hospitals Neuroscience Center.

It was during this time that the idea for The Parkinson's Assistance Foundation came into being. From speaking with people in our community and around the world through the marvel of social media, it was apparent that many of those individuals were struggling with basic needs related to their condition. Be it not having the funds to afford medications… lack of information about alternative treatments or just having someone who could relate to what they were going through, the need was there. I teamed up with several friends of mine, and we decided to start our foundation. At the end of 2016 we became a 501 c3 non profit foundation.

As I have never been actively involved in such an undertaking, it has been a learning experience. Through the direct involvement of generous donors we have been able to provide financial assistance to several individuals in our community struggling to pay for their medications. We have assisted in finding health insurance for some and are currently in the process of developing music therapy, exercise and counseling services to those in need. We are in talks with several local hospitals in an attempt to reach a larger target of people in need of help.

While there are many fine groups that donate to research, our goal is to help with the day to day issues Parkinson's patients face. Having dealt with this illness for almost five years, I can say that stress is the number one issue that causes symptoms to worsen. Being able to lessen that, by financial assistance and providing a strong base of support to those in need is the ultimate goal of our endeavors.

Our mission

While there are many fine groups that donate to research, our goal is to help with the day to day issues Parkinson's patients face. Having dealt with this illness for almost five years, I can say that stress is the number one issue that causes symptoms to worsen. Being able to lessen that, by financial assistance and providing a strong base of support to those in need is the ultimate goal of our endeavors.

Our mission

While there are many fine groups that donate to research, our goal is to help with the day to day issues Parkinson's patients face. Having dealt with this illness for almost five years, I can say that stress is the number one issue that causes symptoms to worsen. Being able to lessen that, by financial assistance and providing a strong base of support to those in need is the ultimate goal of our endeavors.

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Parkinson's Assistance Foundation

(954) 351-9728

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