*DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation)


Hi friends and family! I have entered a new, shorter version of the same film into the 2012 Neuro Film Festival sponsored on YouTube by the American Academy of Neurology. I am so excited that the video is finally finished and ready to be seen by all! 

See my story by clicking on the film we entered into the 2012 Neuro Film Festival

“I Have Parkinsons; It Doesn’t Have Me” is an uplifting video that is a personal testimonial to the incredible value of brain research. It’s the story of my life as family, friends, and I dealt with my Young Onset PD. It shows the progressive disabilities PD caused for 14 years through the high tech brain surgery, DBS, that gave me back my life again! My hope is this video will inspire others with life-altering health problems to make a choice to better their conditions if the possibility exists. I encourage participating in clinical studies, encourage being involved in helping to find a cure for Parkinson's Disease. It is also my hope that the video will show how vital brain research is as it’s resulting in treatments, if not cures, that make a difference in our lives. May others be inspired to carry on this amazing life-altering work by funding neurological research!

Click on the video below to watch the original film entered into the 2011 Neuro Film Festival:

If you would like to send Donna a private message, she can be emailed directly at DBSdonna@gmail.com.

New messages can no longer be posted on this site, but older messages may be seen below.

Older Comments:



### I guess I'm allowed to wander a bit about Parkinsons Disease and DBS surgery - from time to time. November 5th was the 1 year anniversary of my successful DBS surgery. Am I perfect, totally PD free following the surgery? No, I still have days that some PD symptoms can creep in. But honestly, it's okay because it really just makes me appreciate all the more when they once again disppear, thanks to the miracle of DBS surgery. The DBS has given me a break in the inevitable decline due to PD - a year of living like the "normal", healthy me would have.  
I celebrated the anniversary with the wonderful Ladies of Lewes - friends from so many years ago that get together for a ladies weekend once a year. What a pleasure it is each year to re-connect with these women, stepping back into a friendship of over 15 years. 6 hours of shopping and 1 bottle of champagne over a nice dinner and the first DBS year was finished.  
I thought I would travel a lot more this past year, be more adventurous, be more exciting! But the truth is that at age 51, I'm loving my life right where I am. Good friends, both old and new, a wonderful husband, sons I adore, a loving extended family, all combine to make "home" the place I want to be now. Me! Me - the woman who studied International Finance in college, who borrowed money to go to England & Scotland for 6 weeks the summer after college, etc., etc. - that same me with the wanderlust - now is most happy when I'm home. Is this contentment a sign of age, health, or an unrecognized side effect of DBS surgery?? Other unreported side effects of my surgery include a quicker, deeper laugh and the very questionnable pleasure of lauhing at things I would have found inappropriate before.  
I know that I've changed, whether for good or bad is a matter of personal opinion. What matters is I've changed in ways that make me feel content and happy. That's the way to judge relevance isn't it? Here's to year 2 post DBS surgery. Work your magic!

Saturday, November 26, 2011, 21:59:54


Tim Essparza 
I just want to tell anybody thinking about getting DBS, For me it gave me my life back, I can't say enough good about my DBS it's a miracle. I feel good almost all the time I'm getting dialed in. A lot less medication a lot more fun yes I said fun. BM's every day sex with my wife, life is good. Oh ya

Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 20:41:09


Tim, so glad DBS has been such a great experience for you too. Congratulations on getting your life back!

Thursday, October 06, 2011, 12:26:55


Jung Oh 
Hi Donna, it was so great meeting you for CU health mentor program. I found your video to be very inspirational and I can't wait for our next meeting!

Friday, September 23, 2011, 09:02:47


Jung, thank you for watching the video so quickly. Now when I talk about my family, you'll have an idea who I'm talking about. Thanks for your support and patience as I ramble on!

Sunday, September 25, 2011, 07:54:41


###I met for the first time with the group of students that I'll be a mentor for this week at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Aurora, Colorado. What a rush that was! As a mother of two college-age sons, I was especially impressed by this group of young men and women who are so directed, so focused on achieving their goals. Their reasons for choosing a medical profession were varied, but the common thread of wanting to help others ran through each of them. I am really looking forward to our next mentoring session.  
In addition to enjoying the students, I met some fascinating mentors too! Eleanor, who is almost 93 and is indepent in all ways, is delightful. Two other women (whose names I've blanked on) opened up and told me their experiences which were very personal and very helpful to me in my own life. I look forward to talking with more of the other mentors too.

Friday, September 23, 2011, 07:02:23


###Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Improves Parkinson's Symptoms Long-Term But it doesn't stop the progression of the disease, researchers say Aug 08 2011  
The benefit of deep brain stimulation in controlling tremors and improving motor function for those with Parkinson's disease appears to last at least 10 years, according to a small new study by Canadian researchers.  
Parkinson's disease is one of several conditions called motor system disorders, which are caused by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are tremors or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw and face; rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; slowed movement; and impaired balance and coordination.  
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is still effective in improving motor signs in advanced Parkinson's disease patients 10 years after the surgery," said lead researcher Dr. Elena Moro, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Toronto.  
"However, this surgery does not stop the slow progression of the disease over time, as documented by the progressive loss of benefit that both deep brain stimulation and the drug levodopa show in improving walking, balance and speech over the years," she said. (Levodopa combined with carbidopa is the most widely used drug treatment for Parkinson's disease.) "Deep brain stimulation is not a cure but a symptomatic treatment," Moro said. "Parkinson's disease progresses over time."  
The report was published in the Aug. 8 online edition of the Archives of Neurology.

Friday, September 02, 2011, 07:17:29


###The Bionic Brigade (A DBS support group) just ran a fundraiser with two tickets to the CU vs. CSU football game as the prize - a prize generously donated by CU's Director of Athletics. Kim Ursetta was the lucky winner with her guess of 1,001 items in the jar! Thanks to all who participated in this benefit in support of "DBS Voices of the Rockies" - the corporation which the Bionic Brigade falls under.

Thursday, September 01, 2011, 21:13:54


More Comments: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6