It’s funny how even though I know I’m technically an adult, it still feels weird to say I’m proud of my parents. I know the moment I first realized it — three years ago — and I was reminded of it again this weekend.
My dad has Parkinson’s disease. And for the past three years he’s been raising money for Team Fox and the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help find a cure. This comes from the man who when he told me of his diagnosis, also said he wouldn’t get to the point where he couldn’t care for himself. But now, he’s raised nearly $80,000 to find a cure — $40,000 from this year’s event alone. And I’m not the only one who noticed and was proud.
This weekend, I accompanied my father to the Michael J. Fox Foundation Most Valuable People awards in New York City. With Marty McFly himself in attendance, I got to meet so many wonderful people like my father who give up their time to raise money for the cause. Some have Parkinson’s, some have loved ones with the disease. But they are some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. People who have run the NY Marathon despite the pain it’s left them in now. Another who returned from a marathon in Paris the day before the event. One who ran all the way from Canada to Mexico and raised $160,000. I got to meet the executive directors of Team Fox and the MJFF.
And they all told me about how great my father is.
It’s something I know I already knew. But as your parents age, and you work too much, sometimes you just forget. And it’s nice to be reminded. On Friday, my dad got a standing ovation from a group of more than 250 for being a Team Fox mentor — one of the select few trained to help others with their fundraisers for Team Fox.
But you know what, he’s not the only rock star in my family. My mom is currently involved in a clinical trial to find biomarkers to help find what might cause Parkinson’s. She’s undergone plenty of tests, blood draws, a few spinal taps and MRIs (which she says are the worst), just to help. If you want, you can read more about how my parents’ got here in the fight against Parkinson’s here.
When was the first time you noticed the tables have turned and you were the one being proud?