One of the things I remember most vividly about my childhood is the close relationship my mom had with her mom. We lived just across town from my grandparents and spent alot of time with them. If my mom wasn't at their house, Gram was at our house. I never really thought much about it until I became an adult, got married and had children. Now when I look back, I realize how special that was. And how lucky we were to have grandparents living so close to us. My grandmother (Gram) was a strong, independent, petite Polish woman who lived through the Great Depression (and often cooked like it was still happening! Really, Gram, you could have afforded a little more filling in those pierogi!), got married, and made sure her children had the things she didn't have when she was growing up. She moved them out of Chicago and into the northwest suburbs, where the grass was greener (and more plentiful) and did everything she could to make sure my mom and her 2 younger brothers had what they needed to lead successful lives despite difficult circumstances. Gram worked until she was 75 and then reluctantly retired. She was still living in the house in the suburbs, alone now, and maintaining it by herself for the most part, including putting up wallpaper by herself! Around this time, Gram began to have some health issues and had back surgery. A few years later she was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. I'd heard of this disease but really had no idea how serious it was or that it would take her from us. My mom was with her every step of the way during this time, being her primary caregiver while still working full-time. I can't imagine how difficult it was for my mom to watch her mom slowly being robbed of all that made her the person we loved and knew. But she didn't waver, first having to find in-home caregivers when she could no longer meet all of Gram's needs, then having to find a new place for Gram to live, a place she would be safe and well cared for. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts and many, many hours working with Medicare, Medicaid and various organizations, she found a home for Gram. My mom visited nearly every day despite the time and distance. Parkinson's finally took Gram from us in early 2002. I still miss her every day and I know my mom does too. Because of Parkinson's, my children never got to know my grandmother, the woman who raised my amazing mom and is a model of strength, determination, and independence for me. Please help me raise money to find a cure for this horrible disease and better treatments for those already diagnosed so good people don't have to suffer this way. I hope you will donate in memory of Gram and in honor of my mom, Pat Hobbs. No amount is too small! Thank you so much! xoxo
The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) continues to bring help and hope to the estimated one million people in the United States, four to six million worldwide, who are living with Parkinson’s disease. NPF is the only organization with a singular focus on improving the quality of care in Parkinson’s disease. NPF programs reach more than one million people a year through its network of 39 chapters, 43 Centers of Excellence and 900 support groups. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $180 million in care, research and support services.