April Spagnuolo-Moschini from Neuro Challenge

An interview with April Spagnuolo-Moschini from Neuro Challenge on August 24, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.



April is a visionary leader, known for her creative innovations which inspire programs that encourage Full Life Engagement. Specifically, she is credited with creating a Multi-Sensory room with experiences benefiting people with Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Vision Impairment, MS, Down Syndrome, Autism, and more.

April has several years of experience as a Certified Activity Director in Long Term Care Settings. Her dedication to best practices and customer service resulted in the pursuit of an Assisted Living Administrator’s License.

April’s commitment to non-profits allowed her to focus on writing and administering grants, while developing programs that improve the Quality of Life for seniors or people with disabilities. April received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education and began her career as a High School Teacher. She continues to be driven by the love of learning, discovery, and motivating others.

In her “me” time, April enjoys time with family, gardening, kayaking, and creating art.


Please tell me a little about your background and what got you involved with awareness. 


My first encounter with Parkinson’s disease was with my uncle who was diagnosed in his early 70’s.  I watched his disease progress and eventually become Parkinson’s with Lewy Bodies disease.It was not new to me, since I already worked in long term care facilities as a Lifestyle Coordinator and also spent time as a direct care giver to a person with Parkinson’s (PWP).

My job was to maintain or improve the quality of life for people living in facilities. Most of the residents I encountered had some type of chronic illness prohibiting them from remaining at home. My mission became to find ways to include everyone in typical activities that brought them joy, and to find ways for people to stay engaged with life and accomplish their goals.  Helping people to live as independently as possible by making daily decisions and finding their purpose brought me satisfaction. After a few career moves, I found my place at Neuro Challenge Foundation, which is a perfect fit.  Now I make partnerships and plan programs for the Parkinsons community.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


One passion is to educate and bring awareness to this disease, so everyone knows early markers for themselves and oved ones.  I feel it is important to encourage people with chronic illnesses to find ways to maintain or improve their quality of life by practicing positive health and wellness activities.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with Neuro Challenge?


About Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s:

Neuro Challenge is a 501(c)3) nonprofit organization created in 2008 to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. Neuro Challenge provides individualized care advising, community resource referrals and education, therapeutic and support programs both online and in Southwest Florida including Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas, Highlands, Marion and Charlotte counties. Neuro Challenge hosts The Parkinson’s Expo, the largest single day free Parkinson’s event in the nation, held annually in Manatee County, FL.  All Neuro Challenge services and programs are offered at no cost to people with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones.  Visit or call 941-926-6413 to learn more.


Our Mission:


Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s is dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers today.


Our Vision: 


All people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers are empowered members of an inclusive, caring and supportive community.


Our Care Advisors help people identify areas of concern and guide people to the appropriate services and resources. One goal in mind during care advising sessions is to maintain or improve the Quality of Life


What type of training and how long are the programs?


Neuro Challenge has a four-pronged approach to helping people with Parkinson’s. Educational, Therapeutic, Supportive, and Care Advising & Mentorship. All programs offered are free of charge!

  • Educational :  NCF brings Neurologists, and other medical professionals, from all over the nation to present at our “Annual Parkinson’s Expo”, as well as other smaller speaking events in the six counties we serve.
  • Therapeutic : NCF offers programs through community partnerships to deliver therapeutic classes, like “Dance Through Parkinson’s” with the Sarasota Ballet and “Off-Key Chorale” with Sarasota Key Chorale.
  • Supportive : NCF offers Support Groups in each of the six counties we serve that are facilitated by care advisors from NCF. Support groups are for PWP’s and care partners and offer a safe space for networking, socializing, and sharing personal stories and challenges.
  • Care Advising & Mentorship: NCF offers a unique service called Care Advising & Mentorship.  Anyone can receive this service, whether newly diagnosed or not, to assist with guidance on this journey.


What effect can Neuro Challenge   have on Parkinson’s fighters?


We often hear from people after they discover us, saying that Neuro Challenge brings awareness to the disease in a way that restored hope and helps them gain a new sense of empowerment to fight every day.


What would you like to see as a future goal for Neuro Challenge?


1.Neuro Challenge could continue to grow and serve more communities, and maybe even go national one day.

  1. Neuro challenge could continue to educate the healthcare field of the importance of medication management for PWP’s.


What events do you participate in?


I am an employee, so I participate in most programs and events offered.


How can someone get in touch and sign up to help?  What is your website? or 941-926-6413


How can others become advocates?


If people want to support our Mission, they can:

  • Make a donation
  • Become a mentor
  • Refer people to our org. if they need support
  • Be a community partner
  • Sponsor and educational event
  • Share our mission with others
  • Become a volunteer


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson community, what would it be?


Do not give up this fight!  Your life is not over once you are diagnosed, in fact, it is beginning a new chapter.  Find new ways to enjoy the things that matter.