Grief a motivation to stay the course for a cure

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“Time waits for no man,” “Time marches on,” “Live for Today” are sayings that we hear from time to time. For those who know me, I don’t worry about the future very much, or so I say. The truth is I am constantly reminded that life and time are precious. But I refuse to spend time worrying about tomorrow to the extent I lose what I do have, today.

Many years ago I was talked into forming a Parkinson’s support group. I was afraid to do that because I didn’t want to “See the Future” as I met patients who were farther along the Parkinson’s journey than I was. But I was surprised by what I got in return for reaching out to those in need.

It was much more than I ever expected, a sense of community that comes immediately upon meeting a fellow journeyer. I found as we talked about symptoms and challenges, there was mutual understanding and a calming sense that “We were not alone.” I learned very quickly that time was not the sole factor defining the daily small losses of physical abilities. So, my approach was to take the best of each day and build on it and to cram as much into each day as I could.

I spend a lot of time raising money to find the cure. As soon as one event is finished, we start the next. We will find the cure, I have no doubt, but “Time marches on.”

This last month has challenged my beliefs and optimism. During the last 30 days, four members of our support group have passed away, in addition to the father of some people we just met at the Florida Summit of the Tour de Fox. This loss is disheartening, and freaky.

Sunday night was the hardest because it was the first person with Parkinson’s that I met after being diagnosed. But in those dark moments of grief, my family members were there for me. Both Emily and Kate called at the same time, and with a little help from Mom, they supported me and helped me realize what I was going through. The beast had raised its ugly head and they were my shields and sword to get back to a good place.

These men were all good people, who faced their challenges with grace and humor. Knowing them has enriched my life. I know that no matter how much pain and loss I experience as a result of losing fellow PD journeyers, it is worth it just to have known them for an instant.

So where do we go from here? Forward into the future, living each day to the fullest, pushing as hard as we can to find a cure quickly so other don’t have to suffer.

To Shelly, Richard, Curtis, Hubert, and Vic rest in peace. To your care partners, we are still here for you 24/7.

TWO SHOES ON AGAIN.

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About bobharmon49

Parkinson’s Cure Research Funding, Inc. (“PCRF”) was founded in November, 2010 as a non-profit corporation dedicated to raising money for Parkinson’s disease research and patient support. The corporation’s main fundraising event is an annual golf tournament held in April at the Lake Ashton community in Winter Haven and Lake Wales, Florida. Proceeds from the event have been donated to the Michael J Fox Foundation. Prior to forming PCRF the first golf tournament was held in April 2009 and we raised $12,000. The second tournament in April 2010 raised $27,000. Our next tournament will be held on April 7, 2012. At each of the first two golf outings, 215 players filled the two 18 hole golf courses at Lake Ashton. PCRF was founded by Bob and Cecily Harmon. Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2006 and is still very active playing golf and working to help find a cure for PD through fund-raising. He has recently been named to the Southwest Florida Regional Council of the Michael J Fox Foundation. Their mission is to drive ideas about local engagement opportunities to increase Parkinson’s Disease awareness, enhance education efforts and connect with untapped resources to develop the overall expansion of the Fox Foundation in Florida. The Harmon’s facilitate the Lake Ashton Parkinson’s Outreach Group which supports local Parkinson’s patients and their care partners. The group meets on the first Friday of every month at 10am at Lake Ashton and is open to the Parkinson’s community in the general public.

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