As most of you know, raising awareness and funds for Parkinson's research has always been deeply personal to our family. This year the heart breaking reminder of why we walk has become particularly salient. As most of you know, we lost Mom less than a month ago and it still feels surreal.
My mom was one of the most loving and caring feisty women you could ever meet. To begin, here is an exert from a piece that Mia wrote about her Nani, entitled “The Great One,” “My nani (grandma) is somebody extremely important to me because she was incredibly loving, caring, kind, and generous. She was loving in so many ways. She kissed me a lot and my birthday was even her password. She was also extremely caring and that is just one of the things that made her special. She made sure I was safe and I washed my face. If I ever woke up in the middle of the night she would make me chocolate milk and tuck me back in. She was wonderfully kind and generous. She would help, buy me anything within reason, or make me food in a heartbeat, because that’s just who she was. She complimented me and did everything in her power to make me happy. She is one of the best and most important people who has ever or still is in my life.”
Mia’s thoughts on Mom very clearly represent how our family felt about her. Her love, care, and generosity were bottomless and constant. I would also be remiss if I failed to mention the true love and care she delivered through her cooking, her delicious and perfect cooking. I have an infinite slide show in my mind of the beautiful moments others and I have all shared with my mom. I could gush on and on about how loved and wonderful my mom was and we will continue to carry our endless love for this phenomenal woman. Maybe in the future we will wake up and go to bed without this hole in our hearts and our minds. We will forever miss the vision of her cuteness and annoyingly perfect skin, her force feeding us and doting when we didn’t feel well and even when we did, her nonstop hugs, her tenacity and vibrancy, and all of the little things that made her presence irreplaceable.
Over the years, Mom fought, managed, dealt with and then eventually succumbed to the many serious challenges of having Parkinson's Disease. While living with Parkinson’s, everyday she struggled with speech and swallowing, difficulty with movement and standing, confusion, delusions, hallucinations, and tremors just to name a few. She was always there to support us all, but within the limits of the treatments available, we were helpless as she struggled through Parkinson's.
It is our hope that the more awareness, research, and resources there are, the more light there can be for those who face the difficult challenges of Parkinson's Disease. Those who live with Parkinson’s are robbed of so many faculties due to this progressive disease. So through this chance to raise awareness and funds, we walk for our family.
In the United States, 50,000-60,000 new cases of Parkinson's disease (PD) are diagnosed each year, adding to the one million people who currently have PD. Join our team for A Walk to Stamp Out Parkinson’s, a campaign that spotlights the disease and gives the chance to raise awareness and funds in the Greater Philadelphia Region. Your support will help The Parkinson Council continue their work to improve the quality of care and quality of life for individuals living with Parkinson's disease. Please consider donating or joining us if you are able!
Thank you for supporting us and the vital work of The Parkinson Council.
Nazie, Zach, Mia, Zoe and Shakira