Dan Lewis from Bethesda, MD
Nominated by Phyllis Richman
No more powerful or efficient machine exists than the Washington Lawyer. Daniel Lewis was one of the best, at least until he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. That was nearly 20 years ago. Since then he's been a whirlwind of an advocate for PD. He spends his waning energy--there is still a lot left--on every PD-er's behalf.
He works wonders on the boards of PAN and PFNCA, he started an enormously effective support group and still hosts most of the meetings. He tirelessly lobbies Congress and creates connections between the medical/research community and PD-ers. Whenever a legal issue arises, Dan knows how to tap the pro bono services of top lawyers.
He’s a big-bucks fundraiser. He is an advocate, an organizer, a spokesperson and cheerleader. He arranges excursions, unearths useful speakers and puts together imaginative programs. On the quieter side, he keeps a watchful eye on his fellow PD-ers' health and welfare.
Perhaps most important though, Dan can always be counted on to inject spirit into any group activity. He has his raucous side. He loves to laugh and make other people laugh. I’ve observed Dan on Capitol Hill and in board meetings, his ideas flowing fast. I’ve been in support group meetings and dance classes where he can’t resist a quip. He automatically knits a gathering into a group. I’ve seen him sparring with the exercise teacher and turning a class into a party. Daniel Lewis almost makes having PD fun.