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Viv's Kids

Our VIV'S KIDS team was formed in 2003 in memory of my aunt, Vivian Sue Weiss, who passed away just a few weeks prior to that year's Parkinson's Unity Walk (PUW). That first year, just a few of us bonded together to do something in her honor and to support others who struggle with Parkinson's disease, just as she did. It was a special event for me, Vivian's son, Daniel, and a few of our cousins. It gave us a chance to reflect on her struggles and accomplishments, and talk about what we remembered and treasured most about her, as we walked along and enjoyed Central Park in the rain. We made a pact to establish a formal team and recruit others to raise money and walk along with us--and we've had representation every year since. 

Daniel came up with the name: VIV'S KIDS. It's a way to remember my Aunt Vivian as she shined the brightest. Vivian loved children and was a creative and dedicated schoolteacher and administrator for many years. Vivian loved class activities and she brought them into our family life as well. She did everything with passion--from planning class projects to planning family trips and activities. She and my Uncle Herman, her husband, provided so many special memories over the years, and I love that we are creating memories in her memory, for her grandsons and others to cherish.

Channeling her spirit, we have built the PUW into a full event for family and friends; people even fly in for the occasion. Vivian's son, Jon, comes in every year from NJ; her sister, Marge, comes from CA; and we get regular contingents from Long Island and elsewhere as well. We've had lots of regulars and many drop-ins over the years, all connected to Vivian in some way, directly or indirectly, all relishing her memory and raising money for such an important cause. We've welcomed new babies, and new family and friends, all the time. Each year, we gather together to do the PUW, and then head over to the Amsterdam Ale House for some catching up over lunch and beer, followed by a group trip to Levain Bakery for delicious cookies, forming an annual tradition that would make Vivian proud.

Now, as we're coming up on 15 years, I cannot express how much it means to have the Parkinson's Unity Walk as a regular part of our lives, giving us a designated day each year to all come together to raise money to support people struggling with the disease and fund research to discover new treatments and, ultimately, a cure. Most importantly, we share old memories and continue to create new ones. And we do so amongst a community of energized and supportive teams, so many of which are led by brave and strong people struggling with the disease each day. I am so humbled by those folks and it gives me such pleasure to walk alongside them and support them as we remember the memory of loved ones lost.

Patti Bayross
Team Captain, VIV’S KIDS