As November draws to an end and December peeks around the corner, I feel compelled to lift my head above the daily grind and take stock of life. Because despite Parkinson’s disease, I live a rich and full life. Some blessings come to mind:
What sparks a PDF Champion’s desire to complete a triathlon for Parkinson’s research? For Mark Macenas of Durham, NC, who completed the Wilmington Sprint Triathlon on September 19, it was watching his dad’s fight with Parkinson’s disease. And for this avid athlete, the 1,500-meter swim, 12-mile bike ride and 5K run weren’t challenging enough. Mark, a firefighter and EMT of more than 14 years, also wore his full firefighting gear (decked out in PDF stickers) for a portion of the race. Mark has since raised more than $2,200 for PDF.
If you have read the cover article in the Fall 2015 issue of our newsletter, News & Review, you already know that PDF has created a strategic plan to strengthen and accelerate our fight to advance the cure, and care, of Parkinson’s disease. As I enter my 20th anniversary year as chief executive officer of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the new plan is both sobering and exciting.
Don’t grandparents have a way of always making us feel special? Whether it is supporting us at school, cheering us from the sidelines or making our favorite home-cooked meal, they often know just the right thing to say or do. When a grandparent is living with Parkinson’s disease, how can we make them feel special? In honor of national Grandparents Day this Sunday, September 13, we invite you to join the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation in doing just that. It can be as simple as sharing a smile, spending a day together, sending an eCard or raising funds for Parkinson’s disease research.
As Father’s Day comes closer, I have been reflecting on what my Dad gave to me. A US Navy veteran, my Dad was proud of his 37-year career. He served his country as a seaman in World War II and later as an officer. That’s one reason why his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease – an incurable, chronic and progressive disease – hit him so hard. Although he’s gone, one of the many values he taught me was to be a part of something bigger than self … to serve others … to give back.
How are you putting your passions to work for Parkinson’s? Each year, PDF Champion Dawn Judson puts her passion for offroading and and for her business, Bikini Offroad, to use by hosting Shake, Rattle and Crawl. The two-day off-road vehicle event is held in Marble, TX to benefit PDF. The event offers drives on jeeps, ATVs, motorcycles and trucks on the scenic trails and hills of the Hidden Falls Adventure Park, as well as live music, a scavenger hunt, a raffle and dinner. This year, Dawn and her family and friends raised $5,500 … bringing them to cumulative total of $16,000 since 2013! How does she do it?… Read More