EVENT DATE: Oct 04, 2014
Thank you for visiting this fundraiser site! NPF (Parkinson.org) is matching donations $1 per dollar for donation funds! Your dollar = $2 with NPF!
The day I started this fundraiser, I got a wedding invitation from my father in the mail. The wedding is going to be modest, at his retirement home in Arizona, with a small group of close family and friends. What caught my eye, though, is a small line on the invitation which politely asks for no gifts. My father was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease this year. It's been a hard pill for me to swallow. With advances in technology, treatments and a possible cure for Parkinson's seems just over the horizon. In the past two years, research has progressed leaps and bounds with only around $1 million in grants and funds (see link below). If my father doesn't want gifts for his wedding, I would like to donate money to the National Parkinson's Foundation as a contribution to a dilemna that affects over one million Americans.
My father has always been a very compassionate and hard working man. My brother and I were given comfortable lives thanks to the unending devotion my father gave to his family. Michael joined the Air Force before I was born, where he devoted his time to his country and his personal growth. He came from a family of three siblings, none of which had the funds to go to college from their parents (my grandparents). My father worked tirelessly to earn a Business Administration degree through the Air Force, and then found his passion in hospital administration for the next twenty years. After earning officer rank O4 (Major) in the military, he later retired. My family was constantly moving across the United States, giving my brother and I diverse and well rounded childhood experience, but also putting unbelievable pressure on the family. After leaving the Air Force, he continued his passion for helping others by becoming the vice president of a hospice branch in Arizona. He helped the company grow and set high standards for nurse practictionors and caregivers for ten years under his reign, before finally retiring two years ago.
Turmoil in my family tore us apart, and after the final move to Arizona, my heart stayed in Tennessee. I couldn't stand not living with the trees and the river, so I have been living the past six years across the country from my family. However, my favorite memories of my dad growing up live with me every day. He would take me out early every Saturday for donuts and chocolate milk (or coffee when I got older). He has given me amazing advice, pushed me to pursue career goals, given me confidence to conquer my fears, funded my education and supported my goals towards becoming a teacher. Last year was my first year teaching Biology, and I loved it.
He is an amazing man who deserves happiness. I am grateful he has met Carol Russell, who has been able to support him and give him a life that he wants.
Accepting the fact that he has Parkinson's has not been easy for me. However his high spirits and love for life has been unfailing. Michael is an eternal optimist with his Italian roots peaking out at every turn. His hilariously dry sense of humor still remains despite his softening voice. He has been taking speach therapy, physical therapy and has been taking medication to maintain dopamine levels, which can all be costly.
Please help me raise money towards the National Parkinson's Foundation to further research for treatments and cure for Parkinson's Disease in celebration of his continued happy life as a newly wed. It would mean the world to him and my family.
Thank you, Lauren.
*As many as one million Americans live with Parkinson's disease, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig's disease.
*Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected.
An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's disease.
*Incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50.
*Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson's than women.
NPF Rearch: http://www.parkinson.org/