Mother's Day Tribute Wall
These tributes are in honor of mothers and grandmothers who have been touched by Parkinson's disease.
If you would like to share a tribute, please visit http://www.parkinson.org/tributewall.
To Marlena Juniman, from her daughter Nicole Tufaro:
My stepfather, David, has Parkinson’s. I myself, have Multiple Sclerosis. My mother has had to deal with both of our illnesses and has risen to the occasion! My mom never ceases to amaze me! She and my stepfather run a business and my mother is also a fulltime caretaker of my stepdad. She never tires of researching and finding solutions to whatever is presented to her and she does so with a smile and a never ending positive outlook.
To Priscilla Waugh, from her son David Waugh:
My father, Bruce Waugh, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005 at the age of 70. His mother was also had Parkinson’s. My mother has had to deal with the onset of my father’s Parkinson’s and his needs over the past seven years. My parents have been married for almost 52 years. Prior to my father’s onset of Parkinson’s, she has dealt with the needs of her mother in her later years, who moved in with us so she could be looked after. As a caregiver, my mother demonstrated enormous strength and courage to look after the needs of her mother, and later my father. With her nearest child 25 miles away, she learned through the National Parkinson Foundation about local resources that could help her. She found resources in her community that helped her husband remain active and minimize the effect of Parkinson’s. She found medical professionals who helped evaluate my dad’s condition and recommend changes to his treatment plan. She found respite options that helped her in her role as a caregiver. My father has his good days and bad days. My mother makes a difference every day in the life of the man she and her children love.
To Carmen Gumucio Barros, from her son Benji Power:
My mother, Carmen, has been living with Parkinson’s for what we think is almost 10 years. We can’t be sure of how long she has had it because her diagnosis was in 2002 and doctors know she had had it for some years. I say that she has been “living with” it because there has not been one day since her diagnosis during which she has shown any less energy or love for life then what she had before the disease became a part of her.
Carmen has lived the past 10 years of her life as a beacon of hope for anyone faced with a life-changing disease. My mom has filled the void that Parkinson’s-related limitations have created with laughter, dancing, and friendship. She has purposefully grabbed on to every precious moment and aspect of her days and years, and savored them with such vigor, that many people do not even notice that my mom has Parkinson’s.
Ever since the diagnosis in 2002, my mother has been living with friends who are eager to be by her side, living with her children as they graduate college and become adults, living with her mother in the last few years of her life in Chile, living with a new boyfriend that loves her for her character and beauty, and living with life the life that she still wants to live, and does so happily with tremors, laughter, and funky dancing.
To Maia, from her mother:
I am truly thankful and in awe of my daughter who at 32 years old has not only been a remarkable "mommy" to a 3 year old daughter, a full time employee providing therapy sessions for the severely mentally disadvantaged, working towards her Masters Degree in "counseling", she is now the main support for me, her mother who was diagnosed with PD about 10 years ago. Although my symptoms have not been severe until about 2 1/2 years ago she has been able to quickly learn almost everything that could be helpful and make my life so much better. She has read all there is to read on Parkinson’s, she worked in Neurology in a major hospital where she was able to find answers to many questions and I had about PD. I do not know how she managed to accomplish all of these things and be my emotional support ( at times was extremely difficult because of the added and severe anxiety I had developed due to the new symptoms of dyskinesia and painful rigidity and cramps I was experiencing in my legs. For these reasons I would like to honor my daughter, Jennifer Lash for being a loving Mother to Maia, a devoted daughter to me and educating herself to help others in need and not as lucky as she.
To Betty Doviak, from her daughter Kim:
To my Mom! What it must be like to have Parkinson’s and care take at the same time as I am sure there are many other spouses in the same situation as you that go unrecognized. You are my superstar, my best friend my role model, my everything. As I watch you set up the weeks pills for yourself and dad, the counter holds you steady from having yet another fall, your hands tremor as each pill falls into the correct day for dispensing. I glance at your walker next to you; four legged piece of metal keeps you going, able to help you get to the refrigerator so Dad can get his liquids to keep from dehydrating and nourishment. PLEASE Mom no more falls and no more broken bones, please mom let me do that for you. You need to rest. Your COPD, heart disease, osteoporosis, cellulitis, bad hip replacements, muscular degeneration makes all that you do even more difficult. Yet you never cry, you never complain or get scared you never get depressed. You keep going you keep caring for others yet you are not well yourself. I am your only child and had to deal with endometrial cancer the most of last year. I am so sorry for all the sleepless night that caused you, I will try and take better care of myself. I do not need to add anymore to your load as it is. I want to be with you as long as possible in our together life time. Thank you for a great upbringing, loving unconditionally and teaching me so much. There are so many out there like you that are selfless and keep on fighting to live on that go unnoticed.
To Evelen Shupert, from her granddaughter Lis:
To My Tutu - Mrs. Evelyn Shupert - I remember learning about Parkinson's when I was very little because of my grandmother's "shakes" but she didn't let it get her down. It was a long time ago and probably a lot less understood. I also dedicate this to my Papa George - Mr. George T. Shupert - who was there to the end because he married his sweetheart. I don't have a picture on the computer, but I remember when she died when I was in high school and my friends didn't understand the disease. Over 30 years later, I am constantly reminding people of this disease, including dedicating my personal training practice to working with people with Parkinson's. Hugs and Love to you Tutu ... and to all the Moms who are dealing with this disease now.
To my mom who bravely fought the ravages of Parkinson's Disease for 24 years and who taught me and all around her how to have faith in all things, I miss you every day. Being your caregiver for 15 years was an honor and a privilege. Thank you for sharing your good days and bad with my boys. You taught them to be kind to those who are different, to see the good in those they don't understand and to always love first and ask questions later. You have always been and will always be my hero.
To Rhea Walker, from her granddaughter Linda Giorgilli Rice:
My grandmother had an atypical Parkinson's disease known as Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy (OPCA). OPCA is much harder on those who get it than Parkinson's disease. The prognosis is often poor. At the time my grandmother had it, there was so little known or provided for treatment. My grandmother had difficulties with balance, coordination, and speech, among many other things. It was difficult to watch a vibrant, beautiful and loving grandmother, who had never once spoken ill of anyone, taught her children and grandchildren politeness by example, was never judgmental, and was known for her sweet nature, to slowly be destroyed by this disease. She couldn't have spoiled us more with her talents in baking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and making our family so special. She never once raised her voice to any of us or anyone for that matter. She was an angel. I will always miss her and remain grateful for her life lessons, ones that taught us the real priorities that are so often overlooked. My beautiful grandmother, Rhea, will forever be remembered on Mother's Day and every single day.
Our sweet Grandmother, Louise Conover was diagnosed in the 1980's and passed away in 1989. Looking back, we realize she was showing signs in the early 1970's. Through it all, she was still a gentle, loving, wonderful grandma. Miss her still.
My mother was always the strong person in our family. She was always there, fed us, bathed us, took us wherever we needed to go. She instilled faith, culture and family. But I guess the greatest thing I remember was her courage living with Parkinson's Disease. She never complained and even until the end was the one concerned about me. I loved her very much and still miss her after almost three years.
To Thedra Giorgilli, from her daughter Linda Giorgilli Rice:
My mom, Thedra Giorgilli, does not have Parkinson's, but my father did. They were about to have their 60th anniversary only a few months after his death. He absolutely adored her and she cared so lovingly for him through his life and through his battle with Parkinson's, until such time as they moved from their hometown to be with me and my sister (I also have brothers who live in different states). I moved in with them and took over the role of caregiver. Perhaps I should better put it that we shared this role since she still remained hands on with his care, but needed my involvement. My favorite story about my parents was when they fell in love. They were of different religions and it was unheard of to marry out of faith. My father converted, not at the request of my mom's family, but of his own decision and desire to raise his children in one faith. They tell a story from before their marriage when my mother took piano lessons and the piano at the school was in front of a window on an upper floor. My mother would look out and see my father standing on the street looking up at her in that window playing piano with a big old smile on his face and love that glowed. My mom is small in size and beautiful, and she amazes me at how she cared for my dad. Parkinson's is not a disease that affects only the person who has it, but all who love them. My mother and father both showed wonderful strength, devotion, determination and love throughout their life together and even when Parkinson's came uninvited to share in their world. I wrote a tribute to my grandmother, but realized I almost neglected to honor my loving mom! She is loved so much by me, my brothers and sister, and all those who know her. All my love to my mom, from your daughter, Linda
To Marie Beil, from her daughter Deb:
Thank you for being such a wonderful loving and caring mom. Thank you for the best family and childhood anyone could hope for. I have a great family today because of the loving example you and dad set for me. I hope to live up to that example. I know it is hard not to let Parkinson's get you down, but you are doing great. With all you go through, you are still the best Mom and the best Nana ever. I'll always be there for you, just like you and dad are always there for me. Love you! Deb
Mom, As hard as it is for you to speak these days and the difficulty you endure in your tired but beautiful body I am so honored to be your daughter. Thank you for your incredible strength, courage and sense of humor. You can call me Mom anytime. Love, Gail
My Mum suffers from Parkinson's. She keeps working, moving and laughing. We pray every day for a cure or at least to keep the progress slow. You are the best MUM. Love, Steve and Tom
To my Mom, Elaine. You will never know the impact that you have had on my life--up to the point of literally saving it. Watching you fight the battle with Parkinson's got me through some of the most difficult times in my life, but there was none more difficult than losing you. To the end, I so admired your courage and dignity, and I still do, thinking of it daily to help me make choices about how I live my life. Though you are whole again, Lynn and I will continue to fight the battle against the disease that took you from us. It ends when there is a cure. I am so sorry for you that it will be too late. I love you, Jay
To my mom who has struggled with Parkinson Disease for the last 16 years of her life. I cannot imagine and comprehend how must difficult it must be for you to deal with this every day. I know you deal with it on a daily basis to the best of your abilities, you are one brave woman, and I so proud of calling you mom. Thanks for all you have done for me and for all the many teachings and lessons I have learned from you. You are one brave soul and I love you so very much. While,I won't be in Colombia to celebrate Mother's Day with you tomorrow, I will celebrate you beautiful you in my heart. I could not ask for a better mom and grandma.. we love you and pray for you every day <3
Our Mother Betty is so brave in coping with Parkinsons. We wish her a happy mothers day and hope that she will continue to work through her activities of daily living with the help of a great doctor--we thank you, Dr. Frank.
My mother was an amazing human being, very energetic and full of life. She had a wonderful life as a wife and mother. At the age of 74 my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson. I saw how this strong, independent and hard working woman started to loose so many of her abilities. She became very spastic; she lost her stability and tremors on her right hand decreasing her self-help skills and depending on her family and caretakers for her daily care. My mother left us to be with the Lord on September 29th, 2009. With the faith, positive attitude and energy I learned from my mother, I have to say that “a cure for Parkinson is coming soon if we all help to make this dream a REALITY”.
My mom fought a strong fight. I am so proud of how strong she was. You are truly loved and missed!!! I love you mom and I will continue to raise awareness!