As you know, my daughter Ashley was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's in 2015. She was 35 at the time. So very young. So very life-changing and a new journey for us all. A journey we will take together. But for those of you who know me well, know that I WILL seek the silver lining. I know it is there, although sometimes it takes awhile for those dark clouds to pass and sometimes it rains-alot. Ashley's 6 and 4 year old daughters, Sydney and Reagan, are aware that their Mommy has “shakey leg” and it isn't going to get “all better” for now. They are learning to adjust to this new journey, and along the way, they will learn about determination, conviction, courage, love and support of family and friends, and above all, perseverance. For all the challenges she faces each day (and night), Ashley has NOT and WILL NOT let this define her. My grandchildren are blessed as their mother is the role model every child should have. They are learning that life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. They are learning to dance in the rain.
As we wait for the cure, we remain grateful for the crucial research funding that has made it possible for the many advancements and break-through discoveries and interventions that have occurred over the past few years. As a result, Ashley has been able to better manage her PD progression. She has learned that keeping active, both physically and mentally, helps her reproduce some of the depleted dopamine in her brain (loss of @ 80%), and knowledge of medicines, specific exercises, activities, and lifestyle changes are helping to keep her symptoms and stress levels at bay. These interventions have made it possible for Ashley and others to live well with Parkinson's for now.
So, I am again participating in Moving Day® DC, benefiting the National Parkinson's Foundation, and in honor of Ashley. The event will take place at the National Sylvan Theatre (Washington Monument Grounds). This year will be on Saturday, June 3, 2017, and I invite you to participate in whatever way you can. Last year the team “All for Ashley” raised over $13,000 and I thank all of you who donated your time and resources which contributed to such a successful outcome. I was overwhelmed by the support and love from folks far and wide -even from folks I have never met. What a wonderful village! Ashley is now approaching her 37th birthday on May 19, and my personal goal is to raise $3,700 by her birthday. Please consider being a part of my team (village) and to sponsor Ashley. I also encourage you to invite your friends, family and coworkers to join in. Come take a walk for PD with me. It will be a great day!
Thank you in advance for helping me reach my fundraising goal to support the vital work of the National Parkinson Foundation to continue their efforts to assist those diagnosed with PD.
Charlene M. Lee