Parkinson’s Awareness Month is Every Month: Remembering Ishverbai

April 30, 2022
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As April—also recognized as Parkinson’s Awareness Month—comes to a close, we at Azalea Home Care want to acknowledge the 10 million people across the globe that live with Parkinson’s every day of the year.

I’d also like to remember one person in particular who lived with Parkinson’s for over a decade—my uncle, Ishverbai Patel. Our family lost Ishverbai last winter after a decade-long battle with Parkinson’s and dementia, at the age of 83.
Known by those who knew him best as “IC” he was known in his community for his giving nature, his honesty, and his appreciation for the simplest pleasures in life. The father to a son and daughter, Ishverbai moved to Kenya in 1963 and taught high school math and physics for over 15 years, before retiring as a schoolteacher to start his own business.

Ishverbai had lived in the U.S. since 2003. He’d lost his wife at the age of 48 to a rare condition called Guillain-Barre virus, and strongly valued health and fitness, practicing yoga and meditation every day well into his 60’s, believing that, “the first happiness in your life should be your health.”

He was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and early-onset dementia in 2010 and dealt with many side effects of his disease including hallucinations, restlessness, and body stiffness.

His children learned many things from their father. His first year as a business owner was tough, but he was resilient and eventually, his hard work paid off, often spoke with them about the importance of resilience and persistence, “When times are tough, never give up. Stay the course.” He also practiced gratitude every day and taught his children to do the same.

While watching their father lose some of his independence, they found comfort in support groups for family caregivers of Parkinson’s, like this one, and learned that the best thing they could do was practice patience and try to encourage as much independence as possible.

In memory of Ishverbai, in the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing resources for anyone living with the disease, as well as their caregivers. Watch out for details for an upcoming webinar at the end of this month.

We’ll also be raising funds for the Parkinson’s Foundation in Ishverbai’s honor on Instagram or directly with the Parkinson’s Foundation.

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