Tampa woman racing to find cure for Parkinson’s disease in honor of mother

Carol Coniglio and her mom Barbara McMahon have always been close. 

"My mom, she's amazing. I am pretty much a chip off the old block. You know, I get all of my strength and my energy from my mom. I'm the best version of myself because of my mom."   

Three years ago Coniglio’s mom was diagnosed with Multiple Syndrome Atrophy, a rare form of Parkinson’s disease that attacks the nervous system. 

"I found myself really, really struggling with  the with the disease, especially after my mom, being the youngest of 17 children, you know, taking care of my grandmother full-time for 10 years, and now, when she should be traveling to see her grandkids, is now stuck with this awful disease."  

Coniglio felt like she had to do something. So, she did some research and found out about the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Their goal is to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. 

"I found that they actually had runners that actually were able to run for his foundation, raise money and awareness and I thought, oh, my God, this is it," she explained. 

Coniglio joined the team and is now running in the Chicago Marathon to help raise money for the foundation. "If I can raise money and awareness and also inspire my mom to keep fighting and keep going by me running 26.2 miles, something I swore I was never going to do." 

READ Parkinson’s patients find relief, friendship in YMCA pedal program

Coniglio is proud of her effort to raise money to help find a cure for the disease.

"I'm going to be very emotional," she shared. "It's going to be a combination of two years, a lot of blood, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears. A proud moment, obviously, not just for me, but for my family." 

A moment to honor her mom in a very special way. Coniglio will be heading to Chicago next month for the big race.

LINK: Follow Coniglio's progress on Facebook here

MORE GOOD NEWS: Download the free FOX 13 News app for more #WeLiveHere stories like this