Letter to the Editor

A Letter to the Editor written by my Daddio in my hometown’s newspaper… 

Many reasons to be thankful

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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 6:18 pm | Updated: 6:37 pm, Tue Nov 12, 2013.

Thanksgiving is soon here and I have some special thank-you’s to hand out.

I have had Parkinson’s disease for about four years now. I recently had surgery for deep brain stimulation implants done at Allegheny General Hospital. A lot of people have helped me on my journey to this point and to them I wish to say a huge thank you!

The first goes to the van drivers and the Rev. Charles Olson of the Somerset Area Ministries (SAM van). This took all the worries and stress out of frequent trips to downtown Pittsburgh for this country boy from Confluence, who just despises driving in congested city traffic. This service is a godsend to someone like me. To anyone who supports this program financially, a hearty thank you from me also. Please don’t stop. It is a great program.
To all the many, many people both known or unknown, by me or my family, via the social media sites my family posted on, who have prayed for me during this two-part operation, all I can say is thank you. Your prayers were felt during the most stressful times of the operation, like when the warm human hand of a nurse touched mine during stage 1, when I was awake while a talented neurosurgeon drilled two nickel-sized holes through my skull allowing them to insert the hair-thin DBS implants. Wild, yes! Rocked my world, yes! Shook my fillings, yes! And amazing, yes!
To the complete surgical team at Allegheny General Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Whiting, who is on the cutting edge of DBS, thank you.
To my rehab team at West Penn Hospital, thank you. With your assistance I was out in a record time of four days.
To my son Charlie, thank you for spiritual support and information via Internet research to make this decision opting for DBS — also for taking care of the home front while I am recovering. My bird dogs appreciate it, too.
To my daughter Kristen, thank you for all the love, prayers and emotional support from across the miles via phone conversations and social media sites. Also, it was good to have you by my side before stage 1 surgery.
To my daughter Holly: Wow! First of all, thank you for your involvement in the Michael J. Fox Foundation. You ran the Missoula Half Marathon, on little training, raising money for PD research. And thank you for the support on your blog and other social media sites.
Now to my special angel that God sent me over 37 years ago: Ginny, my wonderful wife. There are no words I can utter from my lips to thank you enough. I love you. I could never have done this without you by my side. May we have another 20 years of a quality life together.
Some people have said they thought I was a hero to them for having the courage to go through this procedure. No, the above people were. Especially the surgical team. I just provided the medium for them to paint the word on.
Please support the SAM van and Parkinson’s disease research via the Michael J. Fox Foundation. To anyone with PD and considering DBS, if you would like to talk with someone who has had it done, I am in the phone book.
Chuck Groff

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