When Danielle Bradley’s mom, Manda Kazmier, of Ogden Dunes Indiana, was diagnosed five years ago with Parkinson’s disease (PD), Danielle knew she needed every opportunity to help Manda stay positive and motivated.
Initially, Manda struggled with her diagnosis. However, she soon sought support and education about the disease and an opportunity to become involved in the PD community. Manda and her husband, Henry, began attending local fundraisers and symposia hosted by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. “My mom was touched by the personal approach the Foundation took when speaking with patients and families. Participating in these events began to give her a sense of control.”
Seeing that involvement with the Foundation was helping lift her mother’s spirits, in November 2013 Danielle decided to surprise her family with tickets to the Foundation’s gala benefit, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s.” She rounded up her husband, Ronald Bradley, and her parents, and the family headed to New York City. Sitting among other patients, doctors and Foundation supporters, Manda gained a new appreciation for the urgent work being done to find a cure. “It was important for my mom to see the 1,200 people in that ballroom, each helping in their own way to speed a cure for this disease. She’s not alone in this.”
While Manda still feels the effects of the disease, Danielle has observed that her mother’s attitude grows more positive the more engaged in the community she becomes. After attending “Funny Thing,” Manda was inspired to volunteer for a clinical trial. “She used to keep thinking about the things she couldn’t do,” says Danielle. “But when you see Michael up on stage at an event, knowing he has had Parkinson’s much longer than you and he is still living his life, you get a different perspective.”