Lively Spotlight: Matt Robinson

By Lively

Over a year ago, Lively partnered with actress and activist Holly Robinson Peete to learn more about her journey as a caregiver, first for her father and then for her mother, Dolores – who is also a Lively ambassador. Now meet Matthew Robinson, Dolores’ son, and Holly’s older brother.

Matt is the newest Lively ambassador from the Robinson family, and is living with Parkinson’s Disease. We recently sat down with Matt to learn a little more about his story, both as a caregiver and as someone who benefits from technology in his everyday life.

Lively: Tell us a bit about who you are – your passions, your history?

Matt: I have a very passionate life. My main focus has been the discovery of new genres of music – especially growing up and watching my father play by ear on the piano. That led to me starting my first band in high school called “The Barking Spiders.” I wanted to make this band the blueprint of my life, but my father, Matt Robinson, wanted me to go to college first. So, off I went to NYU for some more musical exposure. I ended up loving it and once again, Dad was right.

I went on to become VP of Capitol Records, VP of Soundtracks at Motown, and my own label imprint, Island Records. As the internet started devouring the recording industry, I pivoted to DJing. Currently, I use a software called Serato DJ Pro that recently partnered with TIDAL. With that, I have basically an unlimited playlist to draw from. My dad really inspired my love of music, which has laid out the framework for my entire life.

Lively: It seems like you had a very close relationship with your father. How was your relationship impacted once he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s?

Matt: Once my dad got his diagnosis, Holly took the lead on caregiving. I was there when I could, but at that point my career was taking up most of my time. However, I have some good memories of caring for my dad. My highlight as a caregiver was when I took him to see his favorite singer, Ray Charles. He danced in his seat all night, and when his medication wore off at the end of the night, I remember carrying him out to the car to get his wheelchair. An officer approached and offered to look after my dad while I retrieved the wheelchair.

For me, the toughest part of his diagnosis was when my dad lost the ability to speak. I struggled to understand him, and there were so many stories I wanted to pass on from him to my son, Max. I’m sure that if my father had half the therapies and medications that are available today, he’d still be here.

Lively: You have also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. How has this changed the way you live your life? What are some of your hobbies/activities that have helped you stay grounded?

Matt: I frequently notice little ticks, cramps and other pains that I remember my dad also having. That part is hard, knowing the path that this disease takes you down. Fortunately, there are new meds and therapies to ease the pain, and I have plenty of hobbies and activities to keep me agile and busy.

In addition to my music, I practice Ashtanga yoga and virtual boxing to keep me active, both of which help a ton. Of course, I enjoy hobbies that keep my mental health in good shape as well – my guilty pleasure is my golf video game. It takes me right out to the golf course, and while I’m terrible at it, it’s very enjoyable and the sounds of birds on the course relaxes me!

Lively: How has technology positively impacted you and your diagnosis?

Matt: I love connecting with my family, and technology has played a big role in that – both through text and over the phone, with FaceTime as a special treat. Technology just makes it so much easier to stay in touch with my family and see how they’re doing, especially my mom as she is older and lives alone.

I also just got a Fitbit Charge 3, which is helping me stay active and on the move. I love it because it stays on me like a football coach! I’ll be sitting down to snack on something unhealthy, like pizza or donuts, and out of nowhere my FitBit buzzes and reminds me I have a few more steps to finish my daily goals. And what’s crazy is that I obey!

In addition, I’ve invested in a SleepNumber bed, which has made a huge difference for me personally. In my line of work, sleep is a buried treasure; to be able to monitor and better my sleeping patterns is more than this 30-year insomnia veteran could have ever asked for.

Lively: You’ve been in the caregiving role. Who currently supports you as a caregiver?

Matt: My wife is my caregiver. She is so amazing and is such a big part of my life and my support system. I found out that I had Parkinson’s six months into our relationship. Six years later, she’s still here! She goes to all my support groups and charms everyone without effort.

Lively: What excites you about Lively?

Matt: I’m really looking forward to taking my experiences and sharing them through Lively. Lively has become a huge part of my family’s life, both for my sister and my mother. I’m hoping to share my story and have my experiences, both as a caregiver and as someone with Parkinson’s, resonate with others.

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7 thoughts on “Lively Spotlight: Matt Robinson

  1. Carlo
    November 11, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    This is great!

  2. Wendy Warren Merritt
    November 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Mrs Delores

    November is Caregivers Month

    I wrote a email asking you All collectively as a Family to join our Team Roster List

    Team LUCY

    Moving Day Triangle
    National Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Campaign

    It’s very personal Now (story)

    I met Mrs Delores years ago in Raleigh NC at the Heritage Festival Weekend for
    Shaw University Special Events

    I was asked by Actor (RIP)Thalamus Rasulala to Chair the Fashion Extravaganza with CoHost Levar Burton to my surprise we did it and Mrs Delores was so classy and professional. Bernard Shaw was also there in the late 1970’s.
    I asked Mrs Delores about her life’s road into becoming a Agent.

    Never ever assumed GOD would direct me to Atlanta for a position in the TBS CNN INC Corporate Headquarters with the CEO /Founder [Ted Turner now has Leeds Body Parkinson’s] and was offered a position in their Architectural Interior Designer division then by 1992 was planning developing as one of the 3 CoFounders of the Annual Turner TRUMPET AWARDS with the pleasure to meet the Great Champion M Ali as the Creative Producer Stage Manager
    (29 years later it’s now the Annual Trumpet Foundation Awards).

    To my amazement each of these celebrities introductions had precious impact on Now Why am I Meeting them ?, especially when my beautiful Mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the 2000’s. Immediately started researching calling NPD Miami/ NPF NYC/M Ali Foundation/ MJFox Foundation to educate myself about Parkinson’s.

    Plus my Mother Lucy Sue was a 46+ year Private Duty license certified CNA for Elite clientele Patients and continued to do her small business of delicious LUCYS Cakes NC/VA business specializing in nonperservative German Chocolate Cakes and Lemon Zest Pound Cakes for small markets.

    She had to have a GI Feeding Tube during Mothers Day 2014 weekend.

    As a Caregiver we had an amazing loving life long relationship with our beautiful Mother she was elegant graceful and always dressed exquisitely then finally BUT a complicated turn of events we had a situation immediately after the surgery at a rehab center then later where she was placed in a horrible rehab nursing home during Hurricane Florence and the ill treatment unskilled Staffing and negligence plus Medical malpractice lead to her demise. All the ER Doctors would just stare and comment how pretty and classy she was a excellent Patient.
    My Mother could sing like a (classical hymns) opera singer during her youth and sadly due to learning severe dehydration and improperly treated from negligence of Staffing not knowing how to do the GI Feeding Tube protocol she stopped talking until we begged pleading for Therapy.

    I linked up with Moving Day Atlanta and started seeking donors and corporate sponsors to help advocate for Caregivers with Parkinson’s Patients since My Mother would have never wanted anyone to experience the horrors of Life inside a long term care nursing homes.
    During Covid 19 the whole Worldwide has seen the news about the conditions in long term care nursing homes.

    I started researching your family stories about Parkinson’s and once I saw the pictures of Mrs Delores I could not believe GOD placed me right in front of so many Caregivers Spouses and Families of Parkinson’s Patients even had the opportunity to meet the former President of National Parkinson’s Foundation Miami.

    Please join our mission for
    Team LUCY and Lovingly continue to advocate for Parkinson’s Disease and acknowledging those loving dedicated Caregivers at Homes.

    Team LUCY
    Team Captain
    Wendy Warren Merritt

    Trust GOD ✝️

    We made our Goals for 2020 on Veterans Day but immediately we are Campaign driven to exceed our goals and get more donations.

    Moving Day Triangle was November 7 2020 and
    Moving Day Atlanta 2020 was October 17 the special Events were Virtual online.

    So happy to read this article about the Robinson Family and grateful to GOD we had a divine providence connection
    [Providence Lane was a former consulting Special Events Productions and Interior Design business and I volunteered for UNCF Annual Atlanta Mayors Masked Balls Chair and Cochair of numerous Celebrity Art Auctions and Events] sadly My Mother was never able to attend the Events she did not want to leave her Patients and the biggest surprise for me was my Father drove 4 hours to surprise me the night of my CoHosting with Levar Burton Dad asked Mrs Delores if she could take him to the stage steps to say Hello and that’s how I made her acquaintance.

    Providence Lane had a byline that it’s by divine design that one journeys down a lane…

    Today is Divine “Providence” that I clicked on my cellphone this morning and there was this Article 🙏🏾👏 11/16/2020.

    Team Captain
    Wendy Warren Merritt
    Parkinson’s Awareness Advocate Daughters
    Wendy and Cindy

    Moving Day Triangle online has a link to download and have Caregivers Yard Signs ( have enlarged at a printer) to Thank and acknowledge Caregivers in your Family.👏😷🏆👏✝️

  3. Melissa Mathis
    November 25, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Matt, blessings to you and entire family, I grew up watching Holly on TV, and came to love her, her family and Mama.
    Much respect to you all for being caregivers, I moved from Ohio to Ga to care for my Mom and would not have had it any other way. Now that she’s in heaven I am official caregiver I have 7 siblings, my Brother passed 5 months before Mom, I cared for him, another Brother has diabetes and leg amputated, I have to care for him and stay on him to take meds, my Sister has Parkinson and it took 2 1/2 years to diagnose by then it’s had plus behind it, she went from Walker to wheel chair within 6 months and cannot do anything it is sad to see her everyday helpless, no one ever in my Family had Parkinson yet they say hereditary.
    Again stay strong and may God continue to watch over you and keep his arms around you.

  4. Carlotta Jarmon
    November 30, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Thank You for sharing. It is a Blessing. I care for My son. He experienced a cancerous brain tumor. Five years ago, he experienced a stroke. Just reading how others are navigating life in technological arena. Thank You, Grateful to run across your article. Be Well.

  5. Bluv
    March 1, 2021 at 2:42 am

    I just got phone last month after not having one for the last 15yrs. As a millennial, It’s feels good to be current again and still be able to use 5star and all the other functions without shame. #greattech #greatcall

  6. Amy Grahams
    March 23, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    I am happy to report the PD herbal treatment from Mayaka Natural Clinic worked very effectively. My parkinson is totally under control, i had a total decline in symptoms, the tremors, shaking, stiffness, congnition and speech problems stopped. Visit Mayaka Natural Clinic official web page ww w. mayakanaturalclinic. com. My family are amazed at the change and rapid recovery from parkinsons disease.

  7. Amy Grahams
    April 1, 2021 at 8:31 am

    At the end of the full treatment course, the disease is totally under control. No case of dementia, hallucination, weakness, muscle pain or tremors. family doctor started me on Mayaka Natural Clinic Parkinson’s Disease Herbal mixture, 2 months into treatment I improved dramatically. At the end of the full treatment course, the disease is totally under control. No case of dementia, hallucination, weakness, muscle pain or tremors. visit mayakanaturalclinic . c o m

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