Michael’s mother Judy lives with PD. In her honor, the whole family comes together annually to raise money for Parkinson’s research, care and education for the Foundation’s Moving Day Walk. “With Parkinson’s, there are lots of uncertainties and challenging aspects, so it always feels good to do something uplifting together,” said Michael.
Recruited as a member of the inaugural California Chapter Advisory Board, Michael has served since 2020 on the board development committee and also recently made an inspirational lead gift to set the Reach Further campaign off on strong footing. The campaign’s ambitious four-year goals include raising an additional $30 million to accelerate the Foundation’s work to advance research toward a cure and expand community care and programs.
“The Foundation is a good steward of resources to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s and their families,” said Michael. “I like the idea of giving the Foundation a broader platform to make a bigger difference.”
As Reach Further regional campaign co-chair, Michael will lead campaign fundraising efforts within the Parkinson’s Foundation California Chapter and will work to inspire others to support the campaign’s critical goals. For Michael and his family, the Reach Further campaign’s emphasis on expanding care to ensure that everyone with PD has the opportunity to work with a specialized medical team is particularly impactful.
Michael said, “As volunteers, what we all want is to feel we are contributing in a way that helps and makes a difference, and I am hopeful that this is an area I can do that. At the end of the day, what we are all hoping for is to make the lives of people with Parkinson’s better.”
For the Waterstone family, which includes Michael’s wife and three children, Michael’s father Stuart, sisters Debi and Rebecca, and their children, frequent family gatherings help them stay connected and face the continued uncertainties of PD.
When asked what advice he might offer to other families facing Parkinson’s disease, Michael said, “The more family and friends and loved ones you have around the better. Everyone is going to need to support each other.”