Last month, I wrote about the “cult of celebrity of Michael J Fox” in the PD world and called for more attention to the every day celebrities of those struggling with PD. Here’s a brief excerpt from that entry:
So, today, while Michael J Fox celebrates his birthday, I wish him well. But my thoughts are with Sam – a 77 year-old man diagnosed with PD just 2 1/2 years ago whom I met through my dance class. The last few months have not been good to Sam – he’s lost a lot of weight, his dyskinesia has dramatically increased, he is suffering from some cognitive issues, his speech has become weaker, and his mobility has been significantly impaired. Fortunately, he has a caring partner who is very supportive though he will undoubtedly be challenged as time go by. These are the kind of people we need to make lists of. These are the people whose stories we need to hear. These are the kind of people we need to support. Let’s celebrate their lives – these everyday celebrities!
I am saddened today to hear that “Sam” – otherwise known as Ian Maddison of Toronto – has passed away. I barely had the chance to know him and I miss him already. I’m sorry I didn’t have the chance to learn, and in turn, tell more of his story. I feel fortunate to have made his acquaintance this past year. Godspeed Ian.