For Better or For Worse: Couple Married 52 Years Moves Forward - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

For Better or For Worse: Couple Married 52 Years Moves Forward in Fight Against Parkinson's

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Aiken County, SC -

Saturday is "Moving Day"; that's an event to raise money to find a cure for Parkinson's Disease and to support patients living with Parkinson's.

Parkinson's is a degenerative disease of the Central Nervous System marked by loss of muscle control.

Ashley Bridges introduces us to a family moving forward to fight the disease:

Every day Chuck Bassi takes his dog Chrissy for a walk.

"Come on Chrissy," Chuck says from his motorized wheelchair.

Walking Chrissy is one of the things he can still do on his own for his family.

"That's the hard part I guess," his wife Ida says, "is watching someone so physically able to move and do and take care of you, to all of a sudden need to be taken care of."

Chuck can still take care of Chrissy, but he needs Ida to take care of him because Chuck can't control his own body.

"My legs move out then force themselves back, they're controlling my body and I'm not," he says.

Chuck is one of more than a million Americans living with Parkinson's.  Before Parkinson's, Chuck was a naval officer who loved photography, golf, working out:

"I thought I was invincible," he says.  "After I had Parkinson's I found out I wasn't quite as invincible as I thought."

Parkinson's affects Chuck's mind--

"It's hard because I don't know whether I'm talking to you or talk to an image, really," he says.

And his body--

"All the muscles in your body are affected, and you don't realize it until all of a sudden something's not working the way it used to," Ida says.  "That's when you say, 'Hmm,' and you know the disease is progressing."

Now Chuck can't write, walk, or even control his eyelids, but after 52 years of marriage, Chuck can still make Ida happy.

"He's still the man he always was," Ida says.  "The fact he physically can't do the things he did then is hurtful for him, and hurtful for me, but still we have each other."

They are there for one for better or for worse; but Ida keeps them focused on the better:

"When I start feeling sorry for myself, she kicks me in the butt and we move on," Chuck says.

"You're not gone, you've still got a life, so deal with what we got," she says, "so every once in a while I kick him in the butt," Ida laughs.

They say that's to keep moving forward.

Chuck will be moving forward at Moving Day on Saturday; that is at the Wheeler Family Y starting at 9 AM.

The family says support is one of the most important things.  Here are a few resources for those interested in Parkinson's:

This is the local CSRA support group.  You can also find them on Facebook.

From their Facebook page, you can find links to other support sources, like More Than Motion.  More Than Motion is an educational site with info about ways that Parkinson's impacts patients, beyond movement.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation provides support for patients and their families, as well as fundraising.

Georgia-Carolina also has local chapters of NPF and APDA.



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