How much did Golf for the Cure bring in …

16 Apr
Did you see who Team Fox featured on Inspiration Monday?

Did you see who Team Fox featured on Inspiration Monday?

I just wanted to share this photo of Dad with you all and tell you some big news.

So there are still some checks and dollars to be counted, but the 5th Annual Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease has raised MORE THAN $45,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

SAY WHAT?

That’s right. Thanks to your support, our sponsors and the Lake Ashton community, in five years, you’ve helped us raise more than $200,000 for the foundation to help find a cure.

I interviewed a mother today, who was diagnosed less than a year ago with PD. She was talking to me about why we do this. Why we fundraise. Why we participate in clinical trials. And she said:

“Maybe more moms at the age of 42 won’t have to look at their kids and say this is going to be a long road, but we’re going to just fine.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you. For being a part of this goal and our journey. We seriously could not do it without each and every single one of you.

Video

Video: Golf for the Cure!

6 Apr

Miss out on the speeches at the Fifth Annual Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease or want to relive it? Here you go.

Video

Fifth Annual Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease

6 Apr

Take a look at the photos from the April 5, 2014 event at Lake Ashton. Thank you so much to our sponsors and the wonderful Lake Ashton community. It was an amazing day.

Loss never gets easy

30 Mar

After the NYC Marathon: Jeff, Gene, Gwen and John.

After the NYC Marathon: Jeff, Gene, Gwen and John.


My heart really hurts today.

Gwen, a dear, Team Fox friend of mine has lost her father to Parkinson’s. I got word late last night and then I didn’t really sleep.

When our family joined Team Fox and I attended my first MVP dinner with Dad, Gwen was one of the first daughters of a Parkinson’s patient that I met. In her, I saw a more awesome version of myself. Her enthusiasm for finding a cure and her love of her father has pushed her to run, raise money and be a Team Fox mentor (which is how she met Dad).

The night at the MVP that I met Gwen and her father, he was really quiet. Gwen was her usual, excited and animated self saying hi to me and Dad, as she introduced her father to us. We all just talked to each other, about our efforts, our passions and her father didn’t say anything. But what I remember now, probably more so than I did then, was that he was in awe of being there that night. And in awe of his daughter. His daughter who would run a marathon, raise money, dedicate her life to a cause and move home just for him.

Gwen made the tough decision to move back to Texas to be with her family. It’s a decision I know will be tough and that I will do some day. But before she had the chance to officially make the move, he passed away.

I can’t imagine the pain that Gwen and her family are going through right now. And I think it hits me so hard because I know one day I will know that pain. I see what will be myself in Gwen’s loss.

Gwen, I am so sorry for your loss. Words cannot explain how sorry I am. I know that your father was so proud of you, I could see it in his eyes the first time I met him. You will always carry him in your heart and as we continue this fight against Parkinson’s together.

Because we are doing this together. All of us. None of us are alone. I just hope each of us gets the chance to say goodbye, and thank you. For all our loved ones do for us.

To my Dad: I love you. And I’m so proud of you each, and every day.

Leave Parkinson’s Behind Gala 2014

24 Mar

Where have we been?

16 Mar

I know, I know. No one likes a blog post that starts off … Sorry for being MIA lately, but. And here it is. There are plenty of excuses of where I’ve been, what the family has been up to, etc. But what it comes down for me personally, is that work has been insane and I’ve been missing out on my PD family.

Let me catch you up with what’s been happening.

Meet the Vanek family: Emily, Sherri, Ben and Michael

Meet the Vanek family: Emily, Sherri, Ben and Michael


Recently, I had the honor of interview the Vanek family for the Michael J Fox Foundation’s blog. The dad, Michael, has PD and is participating in every trial he can. It was seriously one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite story I’ve written for the blog. Why? Honestly, I’m not sure. But I think it has to do with the innocence of the children in the family.

Little Ben, 6, goes to bed every night praying that “daddy’s Parkinson’s” go away. He doesn’t know what that means really. Nor does he understand that his dad is playing an active role in the cure.
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Spread the word! It’s almost time

5 Mar

We’re a month away from the 5th Annual Golf For the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease! 

Check out the press release I typed up for local media, and head over to Dad’s Team Fox page if you’d like to donate. 

It could have been easy in 2006 for Winter Haven resident Bob Harmon to let a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease consume him. Instead, it did not only the opposite for him, but for his family and many in the Lake Ashton community.

 

It started as a tremor in his pinky finger in 2004,  that turned into trouble eating cereal without spilling. Then his gait changed. After seeing a neurologist, it was confirmed, Parkinson’s. On his way back to work, he called his wife, Cecily, who said “Thank God it’s not something that will kill you in 90 days.” Not only has it not killed him, but it’s inspired him to mentor others, start a support group and raise more than $150,000 so far for the Michael J Fox Foundation.

 

In doing so, Harmon has spread the word of the disease known by many to affect old the elderly and some famous people Muhammad Ali and Michael J Fox. In 2009, Harmon held the first Golf for the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease in the Lake Ashton community. More than 200 golfers mostly from inside the community packed the two golf courses for a day of golf followed by a luncheon and auction. It became a packed, annual event and in its fourth year, the community helped Harmon raise more than $50,000 for the cure. In 2013, the tournament was in the top 20 fundraisers for Team Fox, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Michael J Fox Foundation.

 

This year’s tournament — the 5th Annual Golf For The Cure For Parkinson’s Disease — will be held Saturday, April 5 at 8:30 a.m.

 

Along with his fundraising efforts, Harmon created and facilitates the Lake Ashton Outreach/Support Group and Parkinson’s Cure Research Funding, his own nonprofit. The support group, which he runs with the help of his wife, is open to the general public to provide support to Parkinson’s patients and their care partners. The group meets on the first Friday of the month. Bob and Cecily are also involved in clinical trials, which they found through Fox Trial Finder, the Michael J Fox Foundation’s online clinical trials matching tool. Their twin daughters, Emily and Kate, are also signed up. Emily and Kate also raise money for other Parkinson’s efforts, and Kate writes for the Michael J Fox Foundation.

 

This year’s tournament will prove to again be a labor of love and hope as the Harmons, the Lake Ashton community and their friends come together to help raise money as they joke on the course. Bob has said he’s not sure a cure will come in his lifetime, but his efforts and those of the Winter Haven-Lakeland community will be a part of bringing that cure to those just like him.

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