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Exclusive: Clip from Anna Moot-Levin and Laura Green’s ‘Matter of Mind: My Parkinson’s’

By IDA Editorial Staff

Two women sit at a banquet booth. They are laughing and smiling at each other.

Veronica Garcia-Hayes and her daughter Isa Hayes at their home in San Francisco, CA. Image credit: Carolyn Fong. Courtesy of ITVS

Documentary is happy to debut an exclusive clip from Anna Moot-Levin and Laura Green’s Matter of Mind: My Parkinson’s, the second film in the co-directors’ trilogy spotlighting individuals living with degenerative diseases. The first, Matter of Mind: My ALS, debuted on PBS’s Independent Lens last year. Matter of Mind: My Parkinson’s will follow on Independent Lens on Monday, April 8, 2024, at 10 p.m. local time on most stations (check local listings). 

On the clip, the co-directors write, “In this clip, we meet Veronica Garcia-Hayes, who was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s at the age of 39 when she was pregnant. In the years after her diagnosis, she discovered Rock Steady Boxing, an exercise program designed for people with Parkinson’s disease. Now, she is a Rock Steady boxing coach as well as a personal trainer for others living with Parkinson’s. She is a powerful advocate of exercise for those living with PD, which research has shown to be one of the only interventions that can actually slow the progression of the disease. However, 12 years into diagnosis her symptoms are now worsening—an inevitable reality of this incurable, progressive disease. Veronica’s daughter Isa Hayes, a precocious tween, sees her mom struggle as the symptoms become impossible to mask. As Veronica grapples with how to adjust to this new stage, Isa begins to process what it will mean for her to support her mother as the illness progresses.”

Garcia-Hayes is one of three protagonists whose stories are feature in Matter of Mind. The other two are Peter Dunlap-Shohl, a political cartoonist who transforms his journey with PD into a graphic novel, and Juan Solano, an optician who owns a mom-and-pop eyeglass shop in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood and “pursues deep brain stimulation, a surgery in which electrodes are implanted in the brain,” according to the film’s press kit.

On April 8, Matter of Mind will also be available to stream on the PBS App.