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Compass G i v in g
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
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
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,
34 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
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; Parkinson.org.