In one of the neatest tricks since Tom Sawyer attended his own burial service, Sheri Hadley, who is a member of our support group, went to her own celebration of life. The celebration took the form of a bittersweet and raucous Old-Time Fiddle jam. It was attended by musicians from across the state.
Sheri has a Parkinson's-like illness. The disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is one of a small number of disorders similar to, but more virulent than "garden-variety" Parkinson's Disease. Among these other illnesses frequently mistaken for Parkinson's are Dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Multiple-System Atrophy. These diseases tend to progress more quickly than PD, and are resistant to the treatments that normally make possible a decent quality of life, at least for awhile, in normal Parkinson's.
Faced with the bleak outlook, Sheri did not retreat into denial. Instead she made a memory for herself and for her large circle of friends that will be a comfort to all who took part. The memory I will take with me is of a woman brave enough to not let imminent death rob her life of joy. Bravo, Sheri!
You can read more in Michelle Theriault-Boots story in The Alaska Dispatch News.