By Cindy Zomar, Contributing writer
Marlborough. – Carol Raiano was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease seven years ago, and as an ICU nurse, was aware of the symptoms and devastating progression of the disease. What surprised her was the intensity with which her family took on the challenge to raise money for Parkinson’s research. Her three daughters and husband, Robert, work tirelessly for the Michael J. Fox Foundation through Team Fox.
“Everyone is looking for a cure. I’m just looking for better medicine without as many side effects. Right now, one medicine may help with one symptom, but cause other issues. A cure will take a LOT of dollars, but better medications? Maybe not so much,” she explained.
Recently, the oldest daughter, Kelly Raiano Maccioli, organized Putt Putt for Parkinson’s at the mini golf course at Trombetta’s Farm in Marlborough.
“The turnout was very good, and with this event, we passed the $10,000 mark in donations! As a Team Fox athlete, every penny donated to my fundraising efforts goes directly to Parkinson’s research,” explained Maccioli.
Maccioli and her sisters, Megan and Bridget Raiano, have participated in a variety of events for Team Fox.
“It all started when a friend told me about the Insane Inflatables 5K at U Mass Dartmouth in 2015, saying it sounded right up my alley,” laughed Maccioli. “We signed up to represent Team Fox in that race, and since then, we’ve done many runs and events. Last year I ran my first marathon, the Gate City Marathon in Nashua, N.H., and then a second one, the Manchester City Marathon last November. Running has always been my thing, and by representing Team Fox, I know the money I raise may help to find a cure for my mom. We are fortunate that she can still work, enjoy the beach, and play with her grandchildren, but we have to keep raising money for research to cure or slow the disease.”
Maccioli recently decided it was time to go bigger. On Sunday, Oct. 7, she will be wearing the Team Fox colors at the Chicago marathon.
“My husband, Kevin, is so supportive. When I mentioned it, his reply was awesome. ‘I’ve never been to Chicago, let’s do it.’ I am currently the top fundraiser on Team Fox, so I may get an invitation to the MVP dinner in New York City next March,” she said.
While Maccioli began her efforts on behalf of her mother, she soon found that she had a high school friend, Sarah (McManus) Krinopol, who was also dealing with a parent suffering with Parkinson’s. Krinopol’s father, Bill McManus, was diagnosed in 2003 and recently has been struggling with many aspects of day to day life.
“My son, David, is also a Team Fox athlete. He hiked the Grand Canyon as part of an event. When you are part of Team Fox, everyone supports each other,” agreed McManus.
“I think what my family is doing to help fund research is fabulous,” Raiano admitted.
As a private person who doesn’t like drawing attention to herself, she had a tear in her eye as she spoke about the efforts being put forth by her daughters.
“So many people are telling me how wonderful my girls are…but of course I already knew that!” she said.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no known cure. There is no definitive test to diagnose Parkinson’s, so doctors rely on symptoms, such as tremors and a shuffling gait, as well as neurological exams. The disease progresses at different rates for different people, but generally symptoms start as movement and mobility issues, getting more severe over time. It is widely estimated that nearly ten million people worldwide are battling the disease right now.
To learn more about Parkinson’s and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, visit www.michaeljfox.org. To donate to Kelly Raiano Maccioli’s Team Fox efforts in the Chicago marathon, visit her fundraising page, https://fundraise.michaeljfox.org/2018-Chicago-Marathon/kellyrunschicago