CHAMPs > Parkinson's CHAMP

December 2010 - Team Papa David

My Father was diagnosed with PD in his mid fifties and was medicated appropriately. My family was interested in finding a way to support him, and we were lucky enough to discover the PUW.  We began our fundraising and were proud to walk in the park with so many inspirational people.  Year after year, we looked forward to participating as a family, holding our signs, and walking for Papa David.  Dad suffered with complications due to a stroke and passed away in May 2009.

This years walk was particularly meaningful for me, as I walked not holding a sign, but holding the memory of my Dad. I walked alone, needing the solitude and quiet connection with my Father. I found comfort in the Unity Walk family through their kind words and support. I made silent wishes for my Dad and all of the other brave people suffering with PD.

To increase our fundraising efforts, my youngest daughter Cori made and sold beaded bracelets as her Mitzvah project before her recent Bat Mitzvah on September 11, 2010. She wanted to turn one of her passions into something meaningful, and sold bracelets to her friends and family, and donated the proceeds to the Unity Walk. “Watching my grandfather through this experience was challenging. I learned that sometimes in life, we face challenges. Through challenges we learn and we try new things. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you learn from those mistakes, you can get stronger”, Cori stated so proudly in her speech. Cori was brilliant on the bima, and we all felt her Grandfather smiling down on her.  As an additional fundraising effort, 5 percent of the total food and beverage consumption of her Bat Mitzvah celebration was generously donated to the PUW by The Ritz Carlton Hotel in White Plains, NY in honor of my Father. The Ritz Carlton has a program called Vow to Help Others.  The Bat Mitzvah was such a wonderful and important event in our lives, and the donation by The Ritz Carlton, made it even more meaningful.

We will continue to support the PUW and look forward to holding our signs and our memories for Papa David.

Ronni Pitiger