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For years, something wasn’t adding up with my dad. 

It started with a few missed classes when the collegiate runner, exercise enthusiast, and PhD in mathematics lost track of time. Then came the bike crashes — one severe enough to require a life flight to a local trauma center. His erratic heart rhythms and neurological exams conjured a range of diagnoses from cervical myelopathy to seizures, to simply being stereotyped as the “absent-minded professor.”

When we found out he needed a pacemaker, we had high hopes that his mysterious ailments were solved and that he could move on with a healthy and active retirement.

It was hard to ignore the changes in his walking, the stooped posture, and shuffling gait, but my father was still running and swimming. At the time we were still unsure of his diagnosis.

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