When Bryan Roberts, associate dean of IC’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 30, he had a very important question for the doctor.

Bryan asked, “I’m concerned that any medicine that I take may result in hair loss. Should I be worried?” He recalls that the doctor later said the question was “one of the dumber questions he had ever been asked.”

Years later, Bryan is flourishing. He has continued to work at the Park School as an associate dean, participated in Parkinson’s disease clinical research, become a father, and traveled to speak for the massive Michael J. Fox Foundation public health initiative called Partners in Parkinson’s—and he still has all of his hair.

He’s also found an especially supportive colleague at IC: Barbara Howard, former associate dean of the School of Business, who also has Parkinson’s. Barbara and the IC community have helped energize Bryan in his fight against the disease.

Bryan and Barbara were featured in Stepping Forward, a College Television Award–nominated documentary created by IC students about living and working with Parkinson’s.

“The opportunity to work in the Park School with some of the greatest students and creative minds in the field of communications makes those days worth the fight when the symptoms of the disease are more prevalent. My attitude is not, ‘Why me?’ but instead one of, ‘Who better than I to deal with Parkinson’s?’”