How LSVT BIG® Made a Lasting Impact on Both my Dad’s Life and Mine!

How LSVT BIG Made a Lasting Impact on Both my Dad’s Life and Mine!

By Colleen Laubach, PT, LSVT BIG Certified Clinician

Read Colleen’s inspiring journey of her Dad’s experience with LSVT BIG and how it led to her own.

Getting the PD Diagnosis

In 2019 I came home from Physical Therapy school to visit my parents and they told me that my dad had Parkinson’s Disease.

He had had a tremor in his right hand for about 4 years. But his cardiologist told him it was stemming from his heart attack back in 2014. Over the course of about two years, my dad said he had lost his smell, his handwriting was horrible, and he just couldn’t shake the tremor that he was starting to feel in his right leg.

He finally went to the neurologist in January of 2019 because my mom was so disappointed with how our Christmas cards came out. My dad wasn’t smiling in any of the pictures.

LSVT BIG Treatment

After this diagnosis, we were told good news.  His Parkinson’s was slow progressing and he, at 69 was doing well.

I didn’t know how to help him. I mean, I was still in school and didn’t really feel that confident in PD diagnoses and treatment. But I had learned about LSVT BIG and the benefits it had for PD patients, so I was able to help my dad find a location nearby that had a PT and a PTA that were certified.

I was able to go with him to a few of his LSVT BIG sessions and the PT and PTA that worked with him were so wonderful with my dad, I could see that he was more confident with EVERYTHING. He still golfs two times a week, he isn’t afraid to sign the check after a dinner date with my mom and he even smiles in pictures now.

Living Today with PD

In September of 2021, my family took a trip to Yosemite National Park for a week. My dad did so well on every single hike we took. He was at the front of the pack. He was steady and smooth with his gait, even on uneven ground. I truly forgot he had PD.

I am so proud of my dad, and I am forever grateful to LSVT BIG and those two women that made a lasting impact on my dad’s life. And mine. They encouraged me to get certified when I became a practicing clinician and I did, in January of this year. Three years after my dad’s diagnosis.

Impact of LSVT BIG on my practice

I am a PT in North Carolina at a mid-sized hospital. I am working with my rehabilitation director to start a BIG program in our outpatient clinic, and I hope that soon, I will be able to change others’ lives the way those clinicians changed my dad’s.

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