Endurance Athlete, 3-time World Record Holder, Parkinson’s Advocate
At the age of 27, Jimmy Choi was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. Upon receiving the diagnosis, Jimmy went into denial and “did nothing” for the next 7-8 years to manage his Parkinson’s symptoms. By 2010, he only walked with a cane, and he hit rock-bottom when he fell down a full flight of stairs while carrying his young son, Mason. Thankfully, both were physically unharmed, but fear of the future and fear for his family made Jimmy vow to do whatever it takes to take back control of what Parkinson’s had robbed from him physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Since then, Jimmy has participated in multiple clinical trials to further research on better treatments and hopefully a cure for Parkinson’s. Physical therapy led him to running and other activities that help both his physical and mental PD symptoms. He joined Team Fox in 2012 and ran his first marathon that year…and he has not stopped since! His passion to push beyond his limits led him to the national stage as he took on a new challenge and competed as an American Ninja Warrior the last 5 years! He showed the world that Parkinson’s will not stop him and inspired many more to not let a diagnosis define you.
Today, Jimmy continues to maintain a very active lifestyle and lives with his wife Cherryl and two kids Karina and Mason in the Chicagoland area. The pandemic is not slowing him down. In 2020, he smashed the Guinness world record for the most chest to ground burpees in a minute and tied the record for most side jump pushups in one minute. As a Parkinson’s advocate, he serves as a patient council member for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and a board member for Rock Steady Boxing. He also coaches fitness for kids and adults and can often be found online chronicling his day-to-day challenges and how he strives to overcome them with functional movements. He continues to advocate exercise as one of his ‘drugs’ to manage Parkinson’s symptoms and looks forward to providing his input into the Parkinson’s community.
Presentation Topic: Changing Course to Live Well with Parkinson’s