I got the news on thursday that my friend Ray Asbury had passed away due to respitory faliure. Ray was a giving person, never said his wife did he want to ask anyone to doanything for him, he was a fighter to the bitter end. You see Ray had Parkinson's disease, he was diagnosed in 1989 and spent his 40 year career as an excutive for the United States Postal service. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Masters Degree in Business Administration. He was a US States Army veteran. He loved all sports. He was interested and suported the Michael J. Fox foundation for Parkinson's Research, and his family suggests that memorials be sent there. Ray was a giving person, i met him last year in the month of Oct. He had heard that someone in my support group was thinking about having the DBS operation that he had had 2 years earlier, and thought it would ease that person's mind and counsel him if need be. That someone was me, and i'll always be grateful to him for that day he came and talked to us. When he finished talking to the group i remember him saying ok Mike lets take a walk. And so we did , he aked me did i believe that this operation would benifit me, and i said i hope so. Then he asked are you mentally ready, becaus it's going to be tough, his excat words were I'm not going to sugar coat it for you, it's going to be the hardest thing you ever been thru. Thinking back now i see what he was doing was preparing me mentally for the challenge ahead. Then it was my turn to ask the questions, but i couldn't think of one because he had already answered them with his question's, and i thought, he sure is a smart man. His wife Patti said he was hopeful to the end, and she said that Ray was in a nursing home for the last 8 weeks of his life because, he could no longer walk. May God bless his soul, goodbye my dear friend, i'll never forget you. Mike Lamb
What a touching story and a real tribute to a wonderful man and a true champion. Ray sounded like the kind of guy I would like to be most remembered for when my time here on earth is done. Please Michael, see that condolences, on behalf of Movers & Shakers, Inc are conveyed to Ray's family.
It makes me wonder, when my life is over, what will people say about me. Not that I am seeking glory or recognition, instead gauging what I do and say against a measuring stick of "how better off is the Parkinson's Community as a result of what I've done or any of us have done collectively." That kind of begs the question, "What are YOU doing or have done lately to make a positive difference in the lives of people with PD?" I pray when all is said and done, whether or not people remember my name or that of Movers & Shakers, that I/we made a positive difference in PEOPLE'S lives!
I salute Ray Asbury, because if it were not for Ray Asbury, we might never have met a Michael Lamb. The same can be said for all of us. If it were not for, Bruce Kotek, there would be no Michael Church, if not for Michael Church, no Gretchen Garie, if not for all of you there would be no Movers & Shakers and so on. Our lives are inter-connected, each one touching another. WON'T YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY? Thank you Michael for sharing Ray with us, his life and commitment to making a difference lives on through you.
Michael J. Church
MOVERS & SHAKERS, INC.
15275 Collier Blvd. #201
Naples, FL 34119
“The EAGLE Flies”
The beautiful Eagle once soared through the sky,
Now stays on the ground, no longer able to fly,
Franticly shaking, with damaged wings he lye’s,
No longer able to sail the sky, he began to cry,
The beautiful Eagle, watching others, flying by,
Ashamed to be seen, thinking once that was, I,
Alone and afraid the Eagle has, nowhere to flee,
Without soaring through the sky, what becomes of me?
The beautiful Eagle having strong will, won’t stand still,
Not able to fly, he learns to walk, and finds another skill,
No longer able to fly, he tries something new to fills his time,
He now teaches others how to try, if someday they too can’t fly.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you one and all. Too often, the things we do go unnoticed. To perform a kind act for someone in need is an incredibly wonderful thing and can change a person's whole attitude and brighten their day. Especially, if it is done without expectation of anything in return. To volunteer for the commitment of performing multiple acts of kindness on a consistent basis, is to say the least, a feat of greatness. But that is exactly what you do. You not only provide for people's needs, you change lives.
There is an old chinese saying,
TAO TE CHING which means:
"KINDNESS IN WORDS CREATES CONFIDENCE. KINDNESS IN THINKING CREATED PROFOUNDNESS. KINDNESS IN GIVING CREATES LOVE"
It is amazing what we do inspite of our own problems and misgivings. Whether PD is a factor or not in our lives, the actions of your heart attest to the quality of your character.
That is what Movers & Shakers is all about. It is the very reason it was founded, to address the needs of people with PD. BridgeBuilders, is just another extension of that philosophy. In the sometimes hectic day to day business of running a national company, it is easy to forget what is important and complacency creeps in. I pledge as your director, as long as I an able to do this job, to never forget our mission.
THE MISSION OF MOVERS & SHAKERS, INC.
It is the mission of Movers & Shakers,Inc. to always honor our commitment to providing continuous support, education, outreach and encouragement to the Young Onset Parkinson Disease community, promote public awareness and enhance the quality of life of those with this disease through specially designed programs, an extensive network of caregivers, medical providers, elected officials and the generosity of our volunteers, until a cure is found.
To our advocates, for all you've done and all you will do, Thank you. You are modern day saints and shall receive the blessings of God. For it is said,
"THOSE THAT DARE TO VENTURE EXPERIENCE THE GREATEST REWARDS."
I would like to recognize at this time, the following people who have gone above and beyond what can be reasonably expected of an individual to do in the time of need of their fellow man.
KELLIE ELLISON, Alabama
RICK CHURCH, Maryland
JIM BREIGHNER, Maryland
LILA WELLS, Alabama
SARAH JOHNSON, California
MARIAN LICKO, Illinois
These individuals have demonstrated by their own initiative, a high degree of care and outreach, utilizing all available resources in generating the necessary means to meet the specific needs of the Parkinson's Community at home and beyond. They have risen to the challenge and are to be commended for their commitment and selfless actions.
Michael J. Church Gretchen Garie
Executive Director President
Gretchen Garie is the recipient of a 2006 PAN Advocacy Award for excellence. Her award was recently presented by Monica Billger at the 12th Annual PAN Forum in Washington, DC
Gretchen Garie, President of Movers & Shakers, was selected by PAN (Parkinsons Action Network) for her outstanding advocacy and excellent service to the parkinson's community.
Congratulations is in order for Gretchen Garie. Keep it up girl, those of us with PD salute you!
Michael J. Church
Exec. Dir. - Movers & Shakers, Inc.
I could never do the things I do without a wonderful partner by my side. Michael Church encourages, motivates, and inspires me to continue to do all that we can for the PD community. It should also be said, that Michael was recognized as being that integral part of my receiving that award. As it was said, I am the Mover and he the Shaker. This organization, along with everything else we do, is a team effort.
All anyone has to do is read one of his encouragements of the day to get a warm feeling and the strength to fight another day.
President Movers & Shakers