We’re inspired and fueled by the needs that families have when living with Parkinson’s. It’s a team effort and everyone involved needs the right resources and access in order to continue living an impactful life.
Courtesy of the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund
Today I met an amazing young man. Russell Meyerowitz, along with his family and colleagues, created the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund to bridge the divide between families living with Parkinson’s and the care and services they fundamentally need to continue living wonderful and meaningful lives.
Meyerowitz’s father, Aubrey, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s more than 15 years ago. At one point he was going for acupuncture, but then suddenly stopped receiving the treatment. Russell asked why. The answer was simple and what most families commonly hear, “Well, insurance could only cover 3 sessions. Medicine is expensive, insurance is expensive, so I had no choice, but to stop going.”
After seeing family after family struggle with medication costs and monthly insurance expenses it became clear that many people were in the same position – they simply could not find a way to afford alternate methods for helping them deal with the change of lifestyle when receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The Parkinson’s Wellness Fund was created to provide access to these complimentary services via financial wellness grants. They want people to realize that they can live a great life with Parkinson’s.
Russell talked about funding for people living with PD, today vs. funding for research, “Our natural desire and hope is of course a cure. I want a cure, we all want a cure. But there are dozens and dozens of organizations focused on this mission. What we’re collectively missing is a collaborative focus and attention on the people living with Parkinson’s, today.”
He went on to explain that funding research provides an immediate feeling of action, fulfillment and impact. Yet, it actually is only distancing our families from receiving the much needed support they need to live life – today. He continued to explain that for loved ones, it’s extremely difficult and exhausting to keep seeing a family member experience daily hardship, pain and discomfort over and over. Every doctor visit, physical therapy session and pharmacy visit is a reminder that your loved one is going through the struggle of living with a chronic disease that is simply not going anywhere.
He says: “This is my absolute burning passion…. to help families with the support they need.” The Parkinson’s Wellness Fund is the vehicle for organizations to have an outlet to assist families with the support they need. However you have set-up your team and care, they too are part of your team. They continue to focus on how each individual and family can begin building the support they need, both mentally and physically in order to sustain the changes that Parkinson’s forces one to go through. Their goal continues to be the bridge to the gap in our current ecosystem.
The family started the Foundation 9 years ago from scratch, with a 50+ year vision in mind knowing what they were up against. They were afforded the opportunity due to an incredible group of supporters. Their goal is simple, but so powerful – help one more family living with Parkinson’s, today. They are not willing to compromise on their mission and they’re ready for scale.
People are looking at the PWF and asking “You aren’t charging me anything? I can really get a second grant? You’re not charging service providers? What’s the catch? I just have to be living with Parkinson’s?” And the answer is always “Yes”.
The art of collaboration and purpose shines bright through and through the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund.
Please contact Russell Meyerowitz directly at the Meyrow Foundation if you need help.
The Parkinson’s Wellness Fund will be hosting their 9th Annual Play for Parkinson’s Golf Tournament on June 11, 2018 at Braemar Country Club and their 3rd Annual Spin for Parkinson’s on March 4, 2018.
For more information about both events, which will be in the Los Angeles area, check the website at www.themeyrowfoundation.org
Do you know of any other foundations providing resources for people with Parkinson’s? If so, please let me know. I will compile a list under Resources.