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John Kozyak

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NATIONAL PARKINSON FOUNDATION INC
April 24, 2011

I was introduced to the previous CEO of the Natioanl Parkinson Foundation shortly after my Mother was diagnosed with PD. He helped my Mother identify the leading doctors in the St. Louis area and directed me to the NPF website for easy to understand, if not easy to accept, information. Two years later, my Father was diagnosed with PD and after I mentioned this to Judge Shelley Kravitz, a Board member, she suggested I get involved. I met with the new Chair, Dr. Bernie Fogel, and new CEO and President, Joyce Oberdorf , and immediately agree to serve.

During the past 3 years, I have become extremely impressed by NPF, its Board and its staff. We have sharpened our focus and goals. We have recruited some amazing additions to our senior staff and strenghtend our relations with our Chapters. I can not imagine a not-for-profit in the country that has a better, more passionate,more effective CEO and President than Joyce Oberdorf. She is amazing and tireless. Dr. Michael Okun, our medical advisor, is always available, always helping and caring. My parents love his columns, which include useful tips.

My parents spend winters in Naples and the NPF Chapter there has helped my parents improve the quality of their life and give them a much better frame of mind. My Mother was always a good whistler and was quite sad when she was unable to whistle until a speech therapist provided by the NPF Chapter in Naples taught her how to improve her lung capacity and move her mouth. Listening to my Mother whistle to me over the phone brought tears of joy. It may seem silly to some, but not to a caregiver or family member. My parents rarelyt miss an exercise class or lecture and now my 82-year old Mother is on FaceBook trying to organize an NPF Chapter in Southern Illinois near St. Louis. She takes great pride in meeting newly diagnozed people and giving them hope.

I know how carefully the NPF spends the donations it receives and how hard the staff is working to improve the quality of life of PD patients and their families and caregivers. We are funding some very impressive research and changing lives.

I am so proud of the NPF and thankful that it has given new meaning and hope to my family. My Mother was having trouble with her medication and was depressed when first diagnosed . My whole family was depressed when my Father was also diagnosed. Now we are joined in an effort to promote the NPF and its mission.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As mentioned in the review ( above), I have witnessed NPF's staff and Chapter in Naples improve the quality of life for my parents , my siblings and me.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish we could fund more deserving research projects and we will as we increase and improve our fundraising efforts

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I serve on the Executive Committee and am especially interested in fundraising and Chapter relations.

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