Team Fox member Dusty Berry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008 at the age of 50. In 2011, he underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) which had a dramatic, positive effect – leaving him without the presence of any tremors. Despite this, Dusty realized he had to take additional steps to get healthy, and thus “The Great American Weight Loss Challenge” was born.
Dusty is determined to lose 50 pounds by the end of March and is already on his way there, having lost 18 pounds already since January 1! Through pledges from friends, family and colleagues that he will donate to Team Fox upon the completion of the challenge, Dusty is making sure that each pound lost has double the impact. While he knows that he still has a long way to go, Dusty notes that he’s “doing the right things to get there – like exercising several days a week and eating a healthy diet.”
Inspiration to get involved also came after attending fellow Team Fox member Laura Hanf’s 2013 “Bowl Over Parkinson’s” event in Sea Girt, NJ. Dusty had searched for organizations to support and was impressed by MJFF’s mission and the fact that 89 cents of every dollar spent goes directly to research. While Laura and Dusty had initially met online via a Young Onset Parkinson’s support group, he was eager to support Laura’s event and even flew in from Dallas, TX to attend.Laura was thrilled that Dusty would be able to make the trip and notes, “It's obvious that Dusty is someone who wishes to help others. He is a true gentleman; it's a pleasure to know him.”
“Getting involved with MJFF is infectious” as he puts it. “The more you do the more you want to do.” As such, in addition to “The Great American Weight Loss Challenge”, Dusty has also just published his first book, No Excuses, and will donate proceeds back to Team Fox. The book shares many of Dusty’s own personal life experiences and aims to spread awareness and provide hope for those living with Parkinson’s. The book is available for sale through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.