“2020 has been a difficult and challenging year for all of us; but we need to keep going. It’s very important for the research to continue despite COVID-19,” says Donna Rajkovic. “It's only through research that we can have hope for a cure.”
Donna and her husband Mike have been involved with The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) since Donna’s diagnosis in 2012. And for the past five years, they’ve hosted one of the fastest growing grassroots fundraisers as part of Team Fox Detroit. Through galas, golf events and raffles, Team Fox Detroit has raised over $1,000,000 for Parkinson’s research to date. “I do things with my heart and I believe in the Foundation and I know that a cure will be found in my lifetime. That’s what gives me and others hope.” says Donna. “With Team Fox, 100 percent of the money we raise goes to research and we are seeing results from our efforts.”
This year, in addition to transitioning their annual gala to a virtual Wizard of Oz themed experience in October, Donna and Mike are stepping in to support the Foundation on a critical day of giving for Parkinson’s research. The Rajkovics are one of 11 families contributing to our $2 million Giving Tuesday match. Thanks to their generosity, all donations on Giving Tuesday will be matched, up to $2 million.
“During these unprecedented times many nonprofits are struggling,” says Mike, “but we can’t afford to slow the momentum. The Parkinson’s research pipeline continues to fill with so many promising treatments. It’s no time to slow down. It’s time to go faster. This Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to inspire people and communities to come together and double the impact of their donation.”
In conjunction with their incredible fundraising efforts, Donna and Mike advocate for research participation and facilitate educational opportunities for patients and families in their community through roundtable discussions and poolside chats. Donna has been a research participant in the PPMI study since 2012 as well as Fox Insight, and Team Fox Detroit has committee members who are also participating in clinical research trials. “When we first got involved with the Foundation, there were only a handful of treatments in the pipeline. Today, you see treatments that are changing lives and you know the research is making an impact. It’s inspiring and it’s why we do it,” says Mike.
Donna adds to Mike’s sentiment saying, “The progress in the last five years especially is so encouraging, it’s only through research that diseases that were once incurable are now cured. Your contribution on Giving Tuesday is so much more than a charitable donation, it is an investment in a future without Parkinson’s disease.”
“I want to see a future without Parkinson’s for my children and for others,” she says. “It’s only through participating in and funding research that we can have hope for that outcome.”
This Giving Tuesday, you can have double the impact on Parkinson's research. Donate HERE.