When her mother, Barbara, was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 15 years ago, Alexandra Cherubini was a college undergraduate en route to a semester abroad in Samoa. At the time, she knew little about the disease or what it might mean for the future.
While Parkinson’s has been a challenge for her family, Alexandra shares that her mom is doing well. “As a family, we do our research and try to figure out what’s most helpful to her,” she says. This is made easier by their close proximity, as she and her husband, Camillo Alvarez, and her parents all live in Boston.
Not long after Barbara’s diagnosis, she and her husband, Julian, got involved with The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Over the years, they’ve supported MJFF financially and hosted pre-race dinners for Team Fox marathoners as well as Research Salons in their home so Foundation leadership can provide updates to supporters in their community.
Both Alexandra and Camillo have joined her parents at several MJFF events, including the annual gala, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s. In 2011, shortly after the Foundation announced the $50-million Brin Wojcicki Challenge, they decided to do more by setting up a recurring gift.
“The idea was sparked by the Challenge,” Alexandra says. “We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to double our impact. And I was thrilled to learn there was a monthly giving program.” Since then, they have contributed $75 each month.
“Too often I’ll set something aside I want to support but simply forget to do it. With my monthly gift to MJFF, I know it’s already taken care of. ”
With a Boston group recently becoming part of the network of Team Fox Young Professionals, Alexandra plans to expand her role in speeding a cure for Parkinson’s. She feels the time couldn’t be better, with the excitement surrounding Michael J. Fox’s new show. “I love watching it,” she says. “There are so many things you can relate to when Parkinson’s is in your family. This will really help other people understand. The more awareness we can raise, the better.”
Set up your monthly gift today at michaeljfox.org/monthlygiving