North Carolina woman to receive brain pacemaker and raise awareness for Parkinson’s Disease

Deborah Setzer, Financial Consultant for, and active member of an online Parkinson's non-profit organization PLWP, Inc., People Living With Parkinson’s, is living a life of quiet deterioration and remarkable courage. Deborah is 39 and lives with the terrible knowledge that her disease is killing her rapidly, much more quickly than regular Parkinson's. You see, she has M.S.A. (Multiple System Atrophy). Rather than sit around and feel sorry for herself, this human dynamo has sought out the talents of Dr. Stephen B. Tatter of Wake-Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.


Massachusetts GeneralHospital


MD/PhD Degrees:




Ann Arbor


Together these brave people, along with Deborah's caregiver and supportive husband, Robert Setzer,Sr. and her family, have decided to face this disease head-on (so to speak!!). On December 21st of this month, Deb will undergo a type of experimental brain surgery-a DBS (Deep Brain Stimulator) for MSA.Deborah will be raising money for PLWP, Inc. which has an on-line support group at www.plwp.org, and who’s primary mission it is to maintain quality of life both for the person diagnosed and they’re family and friends. After the risk of infection is over, she will be accepting donations to autograph her bald head. She is also donating her hair, which has to be removed prior to surgery, to the Children’s Cancer society, giving some little girl a brighter outlook on life.


Webmaster's Notes:

I've known Debra for over a year now.  She has dealt with changing diagnosises frequently.  When I first talked with her last winter I had a sneaking suspision that it was MSA, more particularly, Striato Nigral Degeneration.  Like most folks, she seemed depressed. I kept telling her that the way I stay happy is to help others. We all learn to deal with what is thrown at us and make the best of it. She is now happily married and very happy in her life. I talked to her 26 hours after the surgery as Robert was Bringing her home. I held back the tears of joy I had for her. She had little pain and had noticed an improvement with this initial DBS setting. I will follow up with the reults of her surgery. Thanks Deb for your what you are doing done for those with MSA, PD, PLWP and one unfortunate child!

Pictures of Deborah and the Surgery

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