Show love to Parkinson’s caregivers this Valentine’s Day

Show love to Parkinson's caregivers this Valentine's Day

Show love to Parkinson’s caregivers this Valentine’s Day


PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Daily life isn’t always easy for people with Parkinson’s disease.

“We’ve been married for 48 years, and it was natural to try to take care of him,” said Judy Fitzpatrick, a caregiver for her husband, who has Parkinson’s disease.

On Valentine’s Day, 3085 Thrive, a Parkinson’s disease support group in Panama City Beach, wanted to say thank you to their support system.

“I tell you, if she hadn’t helped me, I wouldn’t be here,” said 3085 Thrive member Walt Fitzpatrick, who lives with Parkinson’s. “If she wasn’t behind me, I wouldn’t be here now.”

These caregivers help organize medication, doctor appointments, transportation, and more every day.

“The joy Phyllis brings to me, being supportive as my caregiver, she makes it easy to get up in the morning,” said Greg Ritscher, founder of 3085 Thrive, who also suffers from Parkinson’s Syndrome.

The couples say it’s been a life journey and it’s easier to be together.

“Together we’re able to face Parkinson’s and all the other things life throws at you,” said Greg’s wife and supporter Phylis Ritscher. “On Valentine’s Day, I’m glad he’s my Valentine, Parkinson’s, etc. Wait.”

Panelists hope to spread love and support to this community and help people with Parkinson’s thrive in their lives.

“It’s a club no one wants to be in, but once you’re in the club, you might as well learn to thrive,” Greg said.

This club is not here to find a cure for Parkinson’s, but to be a part of everyone’s treatment.

“There are approximately 64,000 Floridians living with Parkinson’s disease, and our team here aims to give them hope,” Greg said.

This Valentine’s Day, offer hope and love to Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers.

3085 Thrive meets every second Monday of the month at Woodlawn Church. For more information, please email Greg at

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