Maria De León is movement disorder neurologist, who completed her postgraduate fellowship training at Baylor College of Medicine in 1999. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008. Although she is currently on sabbatical, she spends her time involved in related activities as a well-respected and well-versed resource on PD. She is a consultant and frequent guest lecturer for the School of Social Work at Stephen F. Austin University; a member and research advocate for the People with Parkinson’s Advisory Committee (PPAC) for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF); and is the Texas assistant director for the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN).
Maria established www.defeatparkinsons.com along with one of her former Parkinson’s patients, Howard A. “Woody” Wolfson. Since his passing, she now carries the full responsibility of running this organization, whose sole purpose is to provide free counseling to Parkinson’s patients and their families in the East Texas region. She is also an active member of the Parkinson’s Inside Out think tank, inaugurated in 2014. Concomitantly, she works vigorously to improve the lives of those with neurological disease at all levels by instructing pre-med students and health professionals alike. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Association of American University Women (AAUW) Award for her work in the field of medicine.
Parkinson’s Diva: A Woman’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease is a culmination of Maria’s many experiences and insights. She resides with her husband and daughter in Nacogdoches, Texas. You can contact her through www.parkinsonsdiva.org, www.defeatparkinsons.com, and www.facebook.com/defeatparkinsons101.