A Man on a Mission


To say Chad Moir is driven is an understatement. Moir works two jobs during the week. He’s also a certified personal trainer who owns and manages his online, in-home business Dopafit on weekends. His company’s name combines Dopa, (short for dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a critical role in the function of the central nervous system, helping regulate movement and emotional responses) and Fit, extoling the benefits of people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease to get out and get active.
 
In addition to a 50 hour work week, Chad is a full time student, pushing toward a degree in occupational therapy. And in his spare time, the 31 year old sophomore is a board member for the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, Massachusetts Chapter, and represents the Massachusetts Chapter of the Parkinson’s Action Network in a variety of settings including the State House in Boston.
 
In early November, Chad was invited to speak to Massachusetts legislators to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease and the need for more research funding. Not bad for someone who never previously visited the State House. Chad recalls, “I was intimidated; all those powerful people but I was amazed at how receptive they were. They wanted to know more. Passion is contagious.”
 
Late last week, Chad traveled to Kansas to speak at the Parkinson’s Wellness Summit in conjunction with the Emerald Ball, a fundraising event for the former Kansas State Representative J. Basil Dannebohm’s Emerald Foundation. Dannebohm’s fledgling political career was cut short when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 34. While in Kansas, he took time to deliver an inspirational speech to a group of local high school students. Chad’s call to action: “Do your part, not just related to Parkinson’s disease but for the whole of society.”
 
Chad’s passion was born from personal tragedy. He lost his mom, Cindy, relatively suddenly to Parkinson’s four years ago. She was just 55. “The only silver lining was that she passed at a family reunion, surrounded by her loved ones.”
 
“My mom had been diagnosed five years prior but because she didn’t have the quintessential tremor often associated with the disease, the diagnosis came late. Initially, doctors thought she suffered from depression and anxiety and followed a treatment plan with that in mind. Parkinson’s is widely misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s or dementia which are by-products of the disease.”
 
“We all have lost someone who has inspired us to put our passion into a good cause,” says Chad. “My return to school and change in career direction is specifically to find another way to be involved in the Parkinson’s community. My long term goal is to help as many people as possible. I’d love to bring a Parkinson’s Wellness Center to Western Massachusetts. Boston is a wonderful hub but we need resources here.”
 
There are an estimated 1.5 million people afflicted with Parkinson’s in the United States.
 
Chad wholeheartedly believes that the high profile Michael J. Fox Foundation will find a cure. “Maybe not in his lifetime,” he said referring to Fox but Moir is hopeful it may happen in his. “If I could be the tiniest part [of finding a cure], it would complete my life. Everything I do is in memory of my mother for sure.” Find your cause and you’ll agree…passion truly is contagious!
 
Chad had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of high school students about Parkinson's disease and the power of finding of their passion. Much like Chad's passion for helping those who suffer from Parkinson's. Mr.Moir is an avid promoter of the benefits of fitness for Parkinson's disease. Chad frequently speaks to support groups about what they can be doing to live a more active life while battling Parkinson's. 
Chad's mother, Cindy, is pictured here on the right. This photo was taken on the way to her yearly ski trip. Cindy loved to ski and frequently visited Smuggler's Notch in Vermont.