Hear our story from Valerie, pdLIFE's founding treasurer, care partner and dynamo in the Parkinson's Community.
We're here to serve, support, and unify the Parkinson's community in the Tampa Bay area, including Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties.
We aim to help improve the Lifestyle, Information, Fitness, and Empowerment of the community through engagement in free exercise, education, and socialization.
Meredith DeFranco, PT, DPT founded pdLIFE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, in response to a need for direct resources, services and social connection for the PD community in the Greater Tampa Bay Area.
With almost a decade of experience at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurologic Diseases at the University of Florida, she has a deep understanding of what PD patients need in order to thrive.
Thanks to grant funding from the Parkinson's Foundation, pdLIFE has been able to continue to grow and provide free Parkinson's exercise classes and other programs in the Tampa Bay Area.
Meredith doesn't do it alone. Our specialized team includes allied healthcare professionals, neurologists, exercise specialists, PD warriors, care partners/caregivers, and support groups.
Our community partners include:
Less than 3% of Parkinson's related funding and grants support programs like ours, which are scientifically proven to improve mobility and quality of life of people living with Parkinson's now.
By improving quality of life through our exercise, educational and social programs, we can delay the disease, slowing progression of PD symptoms.
All of our programs are evidence-based and tailored to People with Parkinson's. On top of that, our programs are free thanks to donations from our members and partners.
On a beautiful Florida February day, I attended my first pdLIFE exercise class. It was amazing. I felt happy and relaxed in a way I had not felt for a very long time. The class was held outdoors and the combination of the sunny day, the many friendly faces of others attending the class, and the excellent group of exercises made my heart happy. I was hooked on pdLIFE, and I continue to the present to benefit from its classes and activities, sharing in both a valuable exercise program and the camaraderie of a group who are all “in this together”. pdLIFE is a tremendous addition to the resources available to Parkinson’s patients in the Tampa Bay Area, helping them live their best lives. I am ever so grateful for pdLIFE.
Having Parkinson's means that I am in a Fight for my life, every day, every minute, every second. Before Covid, I was attending a group exercise class with other people with Parkinson's. During the shutdown I had to workout on my own or on line classes. A person fighting this disease is susceptible to apathy and a lack of motivation. Coming out of this shutdown I found pdLIFE. Attending classes again with pdLIFE has made a huge difference in getting back to my daily fight against Parkinson's. I meet with fellow fighters to exercise and we help motivate each other to be the best we can be despite having PD issues to deal with. Attending pdLIFE classes is vital to be able to sustain a good quality of life for me as well as other Fighters.
It has been 5 years since I was diagnosed with PD. Finally, thanks to pdLIFE, I have a community of young and older people with and without PD. It has taken a long time , but I finally know people just like me. I’ve been fighting since day one. pdLIFE has provided me with the physical and emotional support I need to fight back and beat Parkinson's Disease.