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A happy couple at a beach
Read Time 7 min

Meet Marlene: Rockstar fundraiser for BGF

Marlene Kendrick is funny, kind, motivated and living with Parkinson’s. When she was diagnosed with PD two years ago, she felt like she had the wind knocked out of her by what felt like a life sentence. Marlene had no idea what to do next. Her doctor gave her a prescription and said to get lots of exercise.

As a diagnostic ultrasound technician, Marlene at first wanted to hide her tremors. But working in the medical field also helped Marlene find more information about Parkinson’s, nutrition and exercise. Today with the help of exercise and medication, her tremors don’t bother her as much.

A friend also gave Marlene the book Parkinson’s for Dummies. Marlene said the book gave her perspective to plan for the future, but live for today. She prepared essential documents and materials for her family, but stopped focusing on the end. She was living with Parkinson’s and it was something she could manage. “Parkinson’s doesn’t have to overtake my life”, Marlene said.

Giving Back Through Rock & Roll

The Rolling Stones said, “I know it’s only rock & roll, but I like it.” Well, they aren’t the only ones. Marlene, her partner Jack and her friends decided to combine their passion for music with their experience throwing house parties to throw a fundraiser. BGF was one of the first resources Marlene found after her diagnosis. She said the BGF website was full of detailed information about how to live with Parkinson’s and manage the symptoms through nutrition and exercise.

In December 2018, Marlene and Jack invited family and friends to the best concert in town – in their living room! Jack’s band played while Marlene had the house full of delicious food, warm drinks and friendly smiles with family and friends.

When Marlene and Jack invited their friends, they told them it was a benefit concert supporting BGF. Their guests intended to have a good time while also supporting an important, and now very personal cause to Marlene and Jack. And people showed up! About 60 people came and raised about $2,000 for BGF. It was a success for everyone involved.

How Can I Give Back?

It’s simple! Use your interests and talents to come up with an idea to support BGF. Maybe it’s a garage sale, a bake sale, a living room concert or a portion of proceeds from a business. All of those ideas are fantastic ways to give back to improve the well-being of people with Parkinson’s.

If you want to do something like Marlene and Jack, then planning and timeline are important. Give yourself plenty of time – time to plan the scope of the fundraiser, time to send invitations (a Facebook event is one of the easiest ways), time to prepare your agenda and time to prep.

We’re very grateful for individuals and organizations in local communities conducting grassroots fundraisers that help people with Parkinson’s live inspired lives. We’re here to help to ensure your fundraising initiative is successful. Contact us at Thank you for your support!

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