March 20, 2019

Parkinson’s patient from East Providence pedaled over 800 miles to raise funds for Parkinson’s programs.


East Providence resident, Jo-Ann Roza completed an 800 Mile Bike Ride to raise funds for Parkinson’s specific programs on June 15, 2018.

Pawtucket, RI – To create awareness of Parkinson’s disease and raise funds for Parkinson’s specific programs, Rhode Island native, Jo-Ann Roza, pedaled over 800 miles from Pawtucket, RI to Detroit, MI where she celebrated her arrival at the Kid Rock Music Lab in the Detroit Historical Museum on June 15th.

A 12-year patient of Parkinson’s, Jo-Ann explained “My neurologist told me to make a bucket list of things I want to do, but may not be able to do down the line. So I figured I should get crackin’,” says Jo-Ann. A longtime fan of Kid Rock, she set out to visit the Kid Rock Music Lab in the motor city. But she would not get there by plane or by train or by car. She would bike over 800 miles from Pawtucket, RI to Detroit, MI. JoAnn wanted to challenge herself and inspire others with Parkinson’s to do the same. “This disease is like a thief. Piece by piece, it takes away little things you took for granted. I hope the ride shines some light on that and inspires other people like me who also struggle, but still fight back.”

She had been training hard for this ride. She attributes her success to the programs at The Parkinson’s Place, 65 Blackstone Ave, Pawtucket, RI. The Parkinson’s Place offers arguably the most comprehensive movement disorder exercise and alternative health management program including non-contact boxing based fitness, balance and agility classes and acupuncture. JoAnn has made The Parkinson’s Place part of her daily routine for the past year and a half. With the help of these programs, JoAnn has slowed the progression of her disease and better managed her symptoms. Most importantly she has found a support system, created friendships and developed a sense of belonging at The Parkinson’s Place… so much so that she wanted to share her experience with everyone.

She made it! JoAnn completed her 800 mile bike ride on June 15th, 2018 with a reception at the Detroit Historical Museum. This incredible journey lasted 18 days. Along the way, JoAnn shared her inspirational story with so many people. She had the opportunity to work with others affected by Parkinson’s disease and share in their PD-specific programs and support groups. She raised over $10k during the ride. But her mission has only just begun. She and her trainer, Michael Quaglia also fighting Parkinson’s disease, established the Fight Back Against Parkinson’s Foundation to further support the PD-specific programs they benefit so much from.

About The Fight Back Against Parkinson’s Foundation
The Fight Back Against Parkinson’s Foundation is committed to changing the way people live with Parkinson’s disease. Through a combination of PD-specific exercise programs, alternative health research, and public events, the foundation aims to provide Parkinson's patients and their families resources to cope with the deeper effects and experiences that grow beyond the diagnosis.

The Fight Back Against Parkinson’s Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. To learn more about the FBAP, please contact Brandy Ethier at 401-258-0072 or visit


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