Tonight I read the Wall Street Journal article about Lily Safra recently donating $2.5 million dollars because she wants to chart the course of Parkinson’s Disease in order to stop it! This generous donation was given to the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help fund a clinical study to help track the progression of PD.
The five-year, $40 Million Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative will link pharmaceutical companies, nonprofits, scientists and private funders to form a public-private partnership to fund neuro-imaging, testing of biologic samples and behavioral assessments of 600 participants to identify so-called bio markers of PD.
In laymens terms, Biomarkers provide the tools to track and measure the progression of this disease. Researchers say this is crucial to finding a cure and to determine whether therapy or drugs are working.
Katie Hood, the MJFF’s CEO said, “We need treatments that slow or stop progression of the disease, but without developing these markers we are not going to get there”. “This is the biggest impediment to finding a cure” said Hood.
Mrs. Safra has a very personal reason to support this cause. Her late husband, Edmond J. Safra struggled with Parkinson’s disease and in her words, Mrs. Safra said, “My husband had a visionary belief in the power of human ingenuity to conquer disease.” The Safra’s are well known for their generosity to many organizations through out the world, through the Emond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation. I am thankful she has vowed to uphold her husband’s legacy.
I also tonight read about many individuals who have joined the MJFF foundation to raise funds to help find the cure. These people are not able to give a gift near the size of Mrs. Safra, but they are giving of themselves to raise funds and to make a difference. They are part of a special collective formed with one goal in mind. Many of these individuals are like Geoff and I, they have a personal stake in finding the cure. Like us, they are a small cog in the large wheel that is going to bring change.
After reading a dozen or more stories about these fundraisers, there are many similarities that are woven throughout their testimonials. The most profound being that they all believe, just as Geoff and I believe, that we will find our cure through the the efforts of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Tonight, I thank the Michael J. Fox Foundation for their incredible insight into joining teams of individuals from different disiplines to bring change and improvement into the lives of those suffering with PD, until the cure can be found.
We are all in this together, if PD has not touched your life personally, one day it will. Before we take our first step on Mt. Kilimanjaro, 341 days from today, there will be 60,000 people in the Unites States diagnosed with PD. Please help us fund our cure!
*Thank You Mrs. Safra, may God Bless you for your generosity.*
Facts on the Safra donation provided by Shelly Banjo, Wall Street Journal