CHAMPs > Parkinson's CHAMP
July 2011 - Team Kohan
Crazy to think that Parkinson’s could affect our family. We have no history of it. No one close to us has it. So, when the tremors started a few years back in my husband’s hands, Parkinson’s was never a thought. After seeing our doctor and a specialist, it was confirmed. My husband, 42 years young was diagnosed with Early-Onset Parkinson’s.
Every emotion that a person can have or show came out. How can this be? Why him? Why us? How do we tell our children - Jessyca, Jaimee and Justin? They are just too young. I wish someone could give us these answers. What I can tell you is that we take one day at a time. Some days are good, so moments are bad, but we handle it together as a family.
I tried to read articles, but I couldn’t focus. I guess I’m still in denial. My husband insisted we keep this to ourselves and only let our family know. He doesn’t want to be treated differently. You see, he’s the best husband, provider, and soul mate to me. He’s also the best father, the best coach, the best friend anyone could ask for. Nothing and I mean nothing will change that.
I still felt I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what to do to let him know he isn’t alone. I started doing research on the internet and that’s where I found the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. A lot of these groups are all the same. Someone gets a little in their pocket and then the rest to research. Not the Unity Walk. 100% goes to research. I was like….count us in. We could be a part of that $1.00 that could make a difference….a better medicine…..a cure.
Over Christmas dinner at the Kohan’s my husband and I announced that we were going to walk in the 2011 Parkinson’s Unity walk in honor of my husband and we wanted to know who was in. Well put a Kohan to the test and you will get results. No hesitation, they were all in. So ultimately Jeff, Denise, Jessyca, Jaimee, Justin, Shelli, Katelyn, Bill, Roy, Lois, Kevin, Carolina, Jeanne, Glenn, Ray, Ava, Craig, Laura, Lisa, Mike, June, Tony, Barbara, and Tom became Team Kohan and the fundraising began.
We set a goal of $2500.00. A stretch I thought. My dad said “put it at $5000.00” and just leave it. I was hesitant, but hopeful. I made flyers. We plastered them everywhere leading anyone and everyone to our website. We hit the local papers, 4 times. We made announcements in churches, hit the local grocery stores and the donations came rolling in. Emails went out; my Facebook family will never be the same. One local restaurant, Zocco’s Pizza was gracious enough to do a “dine and donate”. Our biggest donation came from the Eastern Produce Council. They doubled our original goal. We thought, wouldn’t it be awesome if we hit $10,000.00?? It was a long shot but we went for it. The outpouring of support came from all over. NJ, NY, FL, MI, CT, VA, PA, there were no state lines with this fundraising. Our final amount raised….$17,713.00!
To show we meant business, we had t-shirts made up. Team Kohan….in neon green. This color symbolizes that Team Kohan was coming with a vengeance and we won’t stop until there is a cure. The 2011 Parkinson’s Unity Walk was such a great and inspiring event. It was so well run, even in the cold; we were comforted by all the warm hearts and the generosity all around us. We just want to thank everyone for their love and support.
Together we pray for a cure.