Rasheda Ali Inspires Parkinson’s Awareness

January 8, 2014

In 2003, my mom got the chance to work with Rasheda with her husband Bob Walsh, and their sons Nico and Biaggio

I got to see what an incredibly down to earth person Rasheda is who absolutely adores her father and sees him as her hero.   Also being the daughter of a parent with Parkinson’s disease, I admired her activism and strong voice for her father, and the entire Parkinson’s community.  I hoped to be able to do the same for my mom one day.  I recently corresponded with her and told her how much she has been a role model to me.  She has shown me that we are not powerless when a parent gets a degenerative disorder.  

With her twin sister Jamillah Ali-Joyce, her father and his wife Lonnie 

I decided to look online and see what Rasheda has been up to these days, and came to discover that she serves as a spokesperson for In Israel meeting with Hadassah scientists 

Similar to myself, Rasheda for the majority of her life has grown up having a parent with Parkinson’s disease.  Mr. Ali got Parkinson’s in 1984, when she was around twelve-years-old.  She didn’t really know too much about the disease until her sons, Nico and Biaggio, started asking her questions about their grandfather’s illness.  Inspired by her father’s interaction with her children, Rasheda Ali wrote a book called I’ll Hold Your Hand So You Won’t Fall: A Child’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease.  Rasheda said, “Children want to understand why their loved ones behave a certain way. By encouraging communication between them and your loved one with Parkinson's disease, you are not only educating them, you are also bringing them closer together.”

The book addresses most commonly asked questions from children who might not understand why their loved ones with Parkinson’s disease behave in certain ways. The book is written for adults to read to children, and encourages dialogue through the use of colorful illustrations, situations depicting symptoms, and interactive questions. 

“>{HERE} to see interview with Rasheda on Fox News about her advocacy and experience with BrainStorm

Click “>{HERE} to purchase book

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