When you look at yourself as just “a number”, like the 1 million people living with Parkinson’s disease in the U.S.. It’s often hard to think you matter or more importantly, you can make a difference.
The daunting figure – 3 out of 5 Americans will suffer from a nervous system disease, means that someone you know, love or possibly yourself will be in this statistic.
It’s when you start looking at specific numbers that are generated that you realize people do care and had the forethought to implement actions to bring relief.
A few numbers :
$70 Million dollars was given out by The Michael J Fox Foundation alone in 2013 to new and promising research. They funded more research in 2013 than in any year prior!
Thanks to the amazing generosity of donors, 5.9 is the total dollars (in millions!) raised by Team Fox members alone in 2013 to help speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Everyone can make a difference, even just one person.
The number my children display to help make a difference in their dads day is – 7.
She shoots.. she scores… a smile from her dad
You see, back in the day, his number, “lucky” number, was 70. Many a days were spent cloaked in a jersey, representing a team as #70. That was during a time when your name was never on the back of the jersey because you were part of a team. As Don relays, no one name stood out, as a team you all stood together. Much like our fight now!
The girls always want to cary a part of him with them. So they try to show they care and want to carry on his strength by wearing a piece of a number that meant something to him.
When he watches them play sports, much like the chances of him getting Parkinson’s, the feeling he has is 1 in a million!
many ask me personally “What my home run is for our company” My answer is simple. There isn’t one until there is a cure. Therefore, for the month of April – Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we are donating a percentage of each purchase to the michael j. foundation to help fund a cure. I truly belive we are all in this together!
Below is the Blog that was posted on behalf of MagnaReady® and MJF and teamFox
MagnaReady Supports Team Fox for Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Posted by Maura Horton, April 02, 2014
Editor’s Note: With herportion of proceeds campaign launching this April, we asked Team Fox member and MagnaReady creator Maura Horton to tell us the story behind her innovative magnetic button down shirts.
“Mom, will you button my shirt?”
As a mother of two young children, this is a question that I have heard repeatedly over the last 10 years. When one child mastered the skill, the second began to verbalize the same basic need. Somewhere in the mix, I started hearing the same pleas from my husband Don. As the limited mobility effects of Parkinson’s began to set in, he was beginning to struggle with this simple task as well.
First, I started noticing that I was ready before Don; something that had never happened in our many years of marriage. I was the one now standing at the bottom of the stairs inquiring, “How much longer?”, pressing him, “We are going to be late!” During our morning routine, I would witness instinctive, honest-loving moments from our two girls, jumping up on our bed, using it as a ladder, to help their 6-foot-4 athletic father get ready for work by helping him to button his dress shirt. I was naive, and thought that this challenge only happened for him when he was in the privacy of our home, not really giving thought to how Don got dressed when we weren’t around. He has Parkinson’s, but we rarely ever talked about the limitations. To admit to the struggle would mean acceptance.
As a college football coach, Don traveled quite a bit with a busy schedule in and out of locker rooms and hotels. The season brings early mornings and late nights, and honestly not a lot of time for small talk in between. However, on one particular night, after coming in from away game, he was anxious to tell me, “I had a hard day.” He repeated and elaborated, “I had a hard day. A player had to help me get dressed to catch the team plane.” Once he spoke of all the particulars I desperately wanted to help him. This was, after all, a man who never complained.
I realized in his words that despite the wins and losses on the field, here in this moment, my husband felt defeated. His dignity had been lost, and the simple fact that his body was betraying him was almost unbearable. For over twenty years, I had been on the sidelines watching Don be a leader, inspiring his players to be better players; to be better men. Mentally, I knew he could overcome the changes he was going through and could motivate himself to stay strong and move forward, but physically, I realized, that his battle with Parkinson’s was not going to be a fair fight, and I could see that my husband’s spirit was starting to deflate.
Getting dressed shouldn’t be stressful; living with a disability is hard enough. As I thought through how I could help, the epiphany came, and soon MagnaReady – Stress Free Shirting was born. If there is anything that I have learned from being a coach’s wife, perseverance prevails and something constructive comes from every defeat.
How you can join us this April for Parkinson’s Awareness month:
In our office hangs a sign that says – “Remember Why You Started”. Our mission is simple and MagnaReady is dedicated to giving back to the Parkinson’s community that we are proud to be a part of. So throughout the month of April, MagnaReady is committed to donating 10 percent of every purchase to the MJF Foundation during Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
In a family of 12 you learn very quickly the meaning of the word HELP. Help your sister tie her shoe. Help drive your brother to basketball. Help your mom by doing the dishes. Sometimes you knew you were “helping” by not asking for anything – because your mom and dad may be consumed with something else. I am not a stranger to the word or concept of lending a helping hand. As a child I witnessed my dad help complete strangers. I recall hearing, “Mike, why are you late tonight?” “I helped someone who needed a lift somewhere.” “Who dad?” “Nobody I knew, just someone down on his luck.” My dad’s quiet, humbling kindness was always there and from my mom, the same. She would also throw in, after a search of something missing, “say a special prayer to St. Anthony”– the patron of lost things.
Back Bend Demonstration
As a mother I witness help. Libby helping Hadley master a back bend – lesson I hear – You can do anything! Libby helping Hadley learn to read – lesson I hear – I know you are smart and capable AND worth my time. Libby teaching Hadley the rules of tennis and life – lesson I hear – I will always be here for you if you need anything . Hadley schooling us all on her made up knock knock jokes – lesson I hear – It’s important to always laugh. A recent favorite of mine… “Hadley, this is what you do if someone makes fun of dad”. (which unfortunately has happened) Lesson I hear – Siblings understanding strength and unity.
Learning a Back Bend
As an adult I’ve helped. I make an attempt to help families, both that I know and who are complete strangers. I volunteer my time, thoughts and resources – all of which I know I can do more and should. I am trying to being an advocate for Parkinson’s. One of the manifestations of the disease is a quiet voice and I am happy to lend mine for the cause. I try to help my own family build the tightest indestructible wall of love, that no one OR disease can break.
H E L P
But this four letter word has been haunting my soul. I am an avid reader, lately, not as much for pleasure but for research. The Michael J Fox Foundation published a Facebook post that encouraged people to “share” or comment. Most were lengthy compelling stories about life challenges and changes. I read them all but when I close my eyes at night I still see one mans response. It was four simple letters – one simple statement and if I were being completely honest, a desperate plea. It simply read “Help”.
Today I feel like asking. Help us find sanity. Help us find patience. Help us find peace and if I could channel my mother, St. Anthony, Help us find a cure!