After 16 years of courageously living with Parkinson's Disease, my father-- the OG Alex Perez-- passed away from a sudden heart attack on August 30 at the far-too-young age of 65.
It absolutely breaks my heart over and over and over again that I will never get to watch another Rays game with my Dad, never take another VW van ride with him, never be able to call him up for an armchair medical diagnosis, and never hear him tell me that regardless of how old and weak he got he’d always be able to kick my ass. (And let’s face it, he could.)
Parkinson's sucks. Period. It is an extraordinarily cruel, unfair disease that caused my father immeasurable pain and suffering. No one should ever have to watch a loved one deteriorate before their eyes like my family did.
However, while his PD symptoms had rapidly worsened over the past six months, he never stopped fighting, never stopped doing the things he loved, and never stopped putting on a brave face for his family.
And neither will I.
Please consider making a donation to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research so that we can find a cure, eradicate PD for good, and ensure that no one else has to suffer like the man who gave me literally everything including his name. And rest assured that your gift will make a real difference: 100 percent of your donation will go directly to The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s high-impact research programs.
Dad, I love you so much and already miss you dearly.