Dr. Gilbert Hosts: Parenting & Parkinson’s Disease

Parenting & Parkinson’s Disease  

Parenting with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can add a layer of complexity to the already challenging job of raising kids. On this episode of Dr. Gilbert Hosts, we introduce you to some special guestswho are navigating the unique challenges of parenting with PD: Helena and her adult son Alex; Hiro and his teenage daughter Hanna; and John, who is the father of two toddlers.  They have a range of experiences and shared their stories, insights, and expertise.

Our special guests discussed: 

The Parents’ perspective:

  •       When and how to share information about PD with your children
  •       Accepting help from your children
  •       Planning for the future

The Children’s perspective:

  •       How a parent’s PD diagnosis can affect a child’s life
  •       The challenges of having a parent with PD
  •       How to support a parent with PD

Watch the broadcast now on APDA’s YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe to the APDA YouTube channel for more informative and important resources for Parkinson’s disease.


Helena Rodriguez is a person with Parkinson’s Disease, diagnosed in 2010. When she retired in 2015, believing a cure was “just around the corner,” she got involved as an advocate, taking part in clinical trials and treatment research studies. She co-leads and leads three virtual support groups. She sees it as her mission to raise awareness of the needs of families and people with Parkinson’s Disease. Ms. Rodriguez has two adult children and lives in New York with her husband, two dogs, and a noisy parrot. In June 2022 the family was blessed with the first member of the next generation. She enjoys painting, a new skill she developed thanks to a Parkinson’s Disease research study she participated in. Her works were displayed in NYC and Florence, Italy.

Alex Rodriguez is Helena’s son who was married in May 2022. He works for a national company based near his home. He is an avid soccer fan and NYCFC supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys bowling and also plays video games, a skill he used to raise more than $2,000 for APDA.

Takahiro Shigemitsu is a software engineer who was diagnosed with PD when he was 45 years old. He hikes on weekends throughout the year to stay fit and fight Parkinson’s.

Hanna Shigemitsu is Hiro’s daughter and is currently a senior in high school. Her dad has PD and she enjoys getting involved with APDA events. She is very excited to be a part of this broadcast!

John Capone has been living with PD for six years and is the father of two toddlers.  He inspires others with his motivational and no-nonsense messages on Instagram. His positive messages and his unique delivery caught the eye of the director, Grant Singer, who cast him in a movie – playing a character with Parkinson’s disease. Reptile will be released this month, December 2022.

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