United For PD

Brad McMorris can’t slow down. He works full-time managing over 600 clients and hundreds of millions of dollars at Wells Fargo Advisors. When he was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD), it could’ve been his excuse to slow down, but it only made him pick up the pace.
As told to Jorge Arauz | May 15, 2018 | People

In his early 20s, Brad McMorris taught himself the stock market and turned $2,000 into over $8,000 with the help of his grandfather, whom he admired dearly. After numerous interviews, he was given a chance at a major financial institution where he received formal training to become a financial advisor. Years later, he was recruited to bring his clients over to what is now Wells Fargo Advisors, where he works as Co-Founder of the Arch & McMorris Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.
Brad was self-made by 29, the same year his father was diagnosed with PD. For the next decade, he and his brother took care of their father. They saw the entire progression of the disease — from symptoms that began as bad posture and constipation to immobilization. Then one day, Brad reached into a cabinet and felt a sudden slowness take over his arm.
When he began experiencing waves of rigidity while walking, his coworkers would ask him if he was okay. He felt like his body and brain weren’t communicating with one another during everyday tasks like using a fork, brushing his teeth and putting on cufflinks.
At a neurology appointment for his father, Brad decided to ask about his own symptoms, and the doctor told him to come in for tests. In Oct. 2015, Brad’s father passed away and one month later, after a DAT scan and multiple tests, Brad was diagnosed with YOPD. Mere days after his diagnosis, he went to Moving Day Miami and immediately became involved with National Parkinson Foundation’s South Florida Chapter.
At only 39, Brad was apprehensive to begin a medication regimen he’d be on for the rest of his life, so he made an appointment with NPF’s National Medical Director and one of the top PD specialists in the world, Dr. Michael S. Okun. When he adjusted Brad’s dosages based on his fitness regimen, Brad knew that Dr. Okun was going to be his doctor. Today, Brad continues to avidly exercise because it makes his body feel normal and is the only thing proven to ease PD symptoms. In July, he and Personal Trainer Bradley Murcia launched a fitness program called “Monday Madness,” a free, intense boot camp-style class that’s open to everyone and integrates fitness with PD awareness.
Brad’s PD has even changed the dynamic he has with his clients, some of whom are living with PD themselves. It’s become therapeutic for him because someone else knows exactly what he’s going through. This month marks the first anniversary of his diagnosis, and he continues to fight Parkinson’s and support the PD community by promoting exercise and awareness. He will be attending Moving Day Miami on Nov. 13;