Michael Quaglia from the Young Onset Parkinson’s Network

An interview with Michael Quaglia from the Young Onset Parkinson’s Network on July 20, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.




My professional career was in sales and sales management for staffing agencies after years of grinding out a living in my family’s corporate jewelry business. I’m married for 32 years to my wife Donna. We have one daughter, Carissa, who has her masters in nursing and is currently working as a trainer for new nurses.


Please tell me a little about your background.


I was diagnosed at the age of 42 in 2006. I proceeded to ignore PD as if it wasn’t there. My weight ballooned to 236 lbs., withdrew from family, work and friends spending my spare time on the computer searching for a kind of hope for my future. It was then that I found a video about a small non-profit called rock Steady boxing. I watched it repeatedly and started to cry.

Here’s the video

That was when my advocacy began.


Can you tell me more about your advocacy?


It was 2014 and after watching the Rock Steady promotional video, I was determined to start a local affiliate. So, I went out and searched for a gym that would be interested in developing a rock steady program. Met a professional boxer named Richard Gingras, who fell in love with the program, and we flew to Indianapolis to get RSB certified. Together we grew the gym to over 100 members, then financial struggles eventually forced the gym to close.

in 2016 I interviewed with Jimmy Smith on radioparkies, loved the concept so I asked Jimmy if he needed help finding guests, to which Jimmy responded “We’re going to make you a DJ. Seve years later I’m still interviewing people in the PD community to share their stories.

In 2019 I trained with my wife Donna, to run the Boston Marathon which we completed in April. Raised over 10k for Beth Israel Parkinson’s programs.


In 2020 rowed 1,000,000 meters in the Row to Slow Parkinson’s challenge started by friend Ned Neuhaus

2021 Joined the board of the APDA Massachusetts, currently in process of hosting a charity poker game to raise funds.

2021 became host of the podcast YOPN-Young Onset Parkinson’s Network in effort to reach more people to grow awareness.


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

I don’t believe there will be a cure in my lifetime. My passion is talking and learning about/from hearing their inspiring stories with PD.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s awareness have when working with you?

Other Advocates, doctors, engineers, bakers, and candlestick makers. Basically, anyone who has worked with pd patients to the patients themselves.


What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s awareness?


HOPE our work on the YOPN Podcast lets others know they are not alone with their struggles. We offer to encourage people to get/keep moving. Our guests are always so honest, it’s unbelievable.


What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?

To keep hope and eventually hand the showoff due to my voice having issues.


What events do you participate in?


Adaptive CrossFit competitions and exercise programs.


How does this also assist the caregivers?


They enjoy watching their care partner doing something to fight back against PD.


How can someone get in touch? What is your website?  or


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

A PD diagnosis will weigh heavily on you. Seek a therapist to help you on your journey, they will help you from dark thoughts getting in your head, you might have to go through a few before you find the right one.