May 2010 - Papa's Rockin' NJ Walkers
Welcome, to the 2010 Parkinson’s Unity Walk. Hi, my name is Eileen Stein from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I would like to share my family’s journey and memories since we became involved in the Parkinson's Unity Walk in 2007.
My Dad, Saul Stein was diagnosed with Parkinson's nine years ago. However, the symptoms started to become more dominant in 2007. My brother, Ted Stein from River Edge, NJ was the one who started the “Papa's Rockin' NJ Walkers” Parkinson’s Unity Walk Team. All of the monies raised by our team have always come from letters and emails that we send to family members, friends and co-workers. Since 2007, we have raised over $75,000 dollars. I have traveled each year from Pittsburgh to NJ to take part in the walk. However, this year is not in honor of my hero, but in memory of him.
I know more than ever, how important it is to help other young and older Parkinson's patients to find a cause and cure. I was my Dad's caregiver for the last three years during the nights and weekends, along with the help of our nurse Yolanda during the day light hours. Dad was blessed to have such a wonderful nurse who cared and loved him. As the disease progressed, many changes began to occur. Dad confined to a wheelchair, was unable to eat solid foods, having a feeding tube, pneumonia, and bed sores. In 2009, Dad had been in and out of the hospital (Life Care) to try to heal the devastating ones that he had. As time passed, the disease was harder for him to fight. So, on September 15, 2009 he lost his courageous battle from Parkinson's Disease. He was 85 years old and had just celebrated his 62nd wedding anniversary to his loving wife, Jean. I would be sure that on the nice days, that I would take Dad outside in his wheelchair, so he would be able to get some fresh air. On his bad days, just trying to calm him down took a lot out of me. It was very hard to watch him struggle. I now struggle each day not having my Dad with me. I know that he is at peace and not suffering anymore. However, my days are lonely without him and I wish I could have him say I LOVE YOU just one more time, give me just one more hug, etc.
In our battle to help other young and older Parkinson's patients to find a cause and cure, I am also involved with the local chapter of the Parkinson's Foundation in Pittsburgh, PA. I am trying to make individuals in Pittsburgh more aware of the disease, and how they can help.
I would like to give a special thank you to my brother Ted, for his dedication to the Parkinson's Unity Walk.
Eileen R. Stein