August 24, 2013 was an incredible day. My husband and I had spent the day at Duxbury Beach, near our home in Massachusetts, with two of our dearest friends. It had been a perfect day, starting with coffee on the beach at eight in the morning, through dinner and sunset. Duxbury is one of the few beaches around that allows beach fires, and we had one while watching the moonrise and setting off a paper lantern into the sky with our wishes.
What I didn’t tell anyone was that my wish was not to be sick.
The next morning, I woke up early and was watching Good Morning America. Linda Ronstadt had just announced her diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease, and as the doctor on the show recited the classic symptoms, I knew he was talking about me. I wouldn’t be officially diagnosed until September 23, when my neurologist confirmed my worst fear. Incurable, unpredictable, Parkinson's disease. Life is funny that way, giving you incredibly perfect moments, closely matched with incredibly frightening ones.
Five years later I know how truly lucky I am. I have support, and resources, and access to great medical care. Because of that good fortune, I’m also lucky to be able to give back. Today, I’m announcing an effort that will begin on September 23, 2018, to honor the fifth anniversary of my diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. As part of the ongoing fundraising efforts of HR Gives Back, benefiting The Michael J Fox Foundation, I am committing to The 365 in 365 Challenge.
I will be walking, biking, moonwalking, and otherwise propelling my body 365 miles in 365 days, while seeking 365 people to donate $47 each. Why $47? It is the cost of my current drug regimen if I did not have insurance. The goal is to donate a year of my treatment to finding a cure.
So how can you help?
DONATE. If you have $0.47, $47, or $470, please give what you can. You can donate to my effort here, and track my progress here on the HRGB website.
PARTICIPATE. You can join Team Mollie by signing up for our mailing on the website. You will receive periodic updates, and information on how to get our challenge app, and news of events throughout the year.
CELEBRATE. Throughout the year there will be special events to promote HR Gives Back and the 365 in 365 challenge. Sign up for our mailing list, and follow along on Twitter at @HRgivesback for all the latest.
And of course, you can repost this blog, follow and share tweets, and let people know when you’ve donated. I hope you can join me, and stay tuned because we have even more exciting announcements to make in the next four weeks! Thank you!
If you’d like more information, or would like to become a corporate sponsor, please contact me at HRgivesback@gmail.com.