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How Generations of Generosity Have Inspired a Lifelong Commitment from One Donor

Mona Dewart on a camel

Mona Dewart grew up with parents who were committed to giving back, and they passed down this philosophy to their daughter. From a young age, Mona volunteered with organizations that mattered to her, and she continues to make philanthropic donations to causes she believes in.  

“That’s how I was raised,” she says. “I feel fortunate that I have the means to give back.”  

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) is a regular recipient of Mona’s generosity. Mona, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2017, makes monthly gifts to MJFF, but her giving does not stop there. In addition to making monthly gifts, she has also made a gift to MJFF in her will. “What they’re doing is different from so many other organizations,” she says. “The whole mindset of how the Foundation is approaching research fits much better with what I think it should be.”  

While teaching optometry at a university, Mona saw how research could be derailed by red tape, tedious processes and a lack of immediate impact. MJFF deploys funds in real-time to ensure that donations are put to work as quickly as possible to maximize impact. “The Foundation is supporting research that is pertinent for people living with Parkinson’s today,” says Mona. 

Recently, Mona was touched to discover that her niece is also contributing to MJFF. “Like me, she’s doing this for today, not someday,” Mona says. “Other organizations don’t have that same bang for your buck.” 

Back home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, she likes to stay on top of the latest Parkinson’s research, which she finds encouraging. “There are very positive, tangible results coming out,” she says. “The database of research just keeps growing.”  

Fund Research That Matters Today 

You can join Mona in supporting MJFF’s ongoing research by making a gift in your estate plan. We also have ideas for ways you can enjoy tax benefits, life income or flexibility through your generosity. To learn more, contact The Michael J. Fox Foundation at 212-509-1524 or  

  • Mona Dewart solo photo
  • Mona Dewart at Rock Steady Boxing
  • Mona Dewart in Rome
  • Mona Dewart solo traveling
  • Mona next to a scuplture
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