Arizona Storytellers: Niki Cuccinotto

By KJZZ News
Published: Monday, February 10, 2020 - 8:59am
Updated: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 8:07am

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Arizona Storytellers Niki Cuccinotto
Jeremiah Toller/The Arizona Republic
Niki Cuccinotto shares her story at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on June 12, 2019.

KJZZ partners with the Arizona Republic to bring you the Arizona Storytellers series. We record the live events and share them with you on the radio. In Phoenix, the storytellers share stories about our community or the life events that have shaped them. 

Niki Cuccinotto says her large, loud Italian family has always been Cubs fans.

From a very young age, Niki remembers seeing her Grandpa Joe in a crisp blue Cubs jersey while the whole family cooked on the grill during the game. He was a thin man confined to a wheelchair who couldn't speak, and Niki says it's because Grandpa Joe had Huntington's disease.

Niki often explains to people that there is a 1 in 3 chance that all 9 of Grandpa Joe's children — her aunts, uncles and dad — would inherit the disease, which is similar to Parkinson's.

Niki Cuccinotto is a science educator and writer.

The next storytelling event is Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. To learn more about the Arizona Storytellers project or how to tell your own story, visit

→ Hear More Arizona Storytellers


Arizona Storytellers