This is the next part in our continuing series about Frank Cervone’s continuing battle with MSA and how it effects his life as a Republican Councilman in the mid-western city of Fairborn, Ohio. I hope you are all enjoying the series and learning more about this very dangerous and unknown disease.
Someone once said, “One’s life is not measured by the two dates on your tombstone, but how you lived the dash between them.” But how do you really know? Is your view of your dash the same as others see it, or is it tainted? I don’t know how many people get the chance to see the results of their dash, but I was fortunate enough to see some of mine tonight.
I have always tried to live by the “Pay it forward” principle. Do nice things for others and hopefully they will pass it on. Tonight, I was honored by two young Fairborn mothers, Chrissy Fisher and Valerie Sorrells who spent an incredible amount of time and energy to plan a fundraising event in my honor for Multiple System Atrophy. I met Valerie several years ago when I was made aware of a widowed elderly woman who was facing being locked out of her property due to it being cluttered and considered a fire hazard and had also been cited into court for tall weeds and grass. I stepped in and with the help of several citizen volunteers including Valerie and her mother, Patricia, mowed, weeded, trimmed, and edged her property into conformity. It took a couple of days, a lot of hard work and a visit to Urgent Care to get an injection for poison ivy, but this woman was allowed to stay with her property and you couldn’t have found a more grateful citizen. Because of this small token of kindness I had given to “Miss Mary” and for the other citizens I have stepped up to the plate for, these women thought enough of me to assist me in my journey to make the entire world aware of MSA.
Being the mothers of sons and the community recently having a Father/Daughter dance, Chrissy and Valerie decided to have a Mother/Son bowling fundraiser for MSA. These girls, in addition to being wonderful moms to primary school age children and holding down their jobs, found the time to organize a very successful fundraiser which included door prizes, raffle items and a 50/50 drawing.
I arrived at Aero Lanes in Fairborn tonight and found the organizers already hard at work. They had registration, door prize and raffle tables set up complete with balloons and pizza was being delivered to feed those attending. There was even a massage therapist there to give chair massages for the mothers. The mother/son couples, after paying their admission fee to Carrie Adkins had their hand stamped with a purple MSA stamp and were given a door prize ticket and guided to the counter to pick up their bowling shoes. Chrissy and Valerie were proudly wearing their newly designed t-shirts that boldly stated Mother Son Awareness for MSA. Very catchy right? They even had purple lapel flowers for Susan, Angelina and myself. They had thought of everything.
The boys had a wonderful time picking out the perfect bowling ball to show off their expertise and the mothers chatted with each other while having a great bonding night with their young men. I do have to admit, it’s been a while since I have been in a bowling alley and the fluorescent colors of balls were much different from the standard black, blue and red I had grown up with. The facility was filled with laughing and whoops of excitement as each young PBA hopeful knocked down the pins. One couldn’t help but notice though, as each boy ran toward the pizza table to grab a slice, they slowed down as they passed the table that sported not one, but TWO brand new bicycles. Then, to increase their excitement, there were two more bikes by the pepperoni pizza! You could see the anxiousness in their eyes wondering who would be the lucky boy that would take one of those shiny new bikes home.
The mothers had the chance to purchase tickets and place them in a bag next to the raffle item they would most like to win. They had a multitude of items to choose from. Everything from a coffee gift pack to an overnight stay at a local hotel with a dinner for two included. In addition, each and every person attending was given a hand-wrapped gift bag of goodies from local businesses.
The evening went by much too quickly. Susan and I were able to meet and chat with the mothers and share their experiences. We met one mother that had been widowed at age 35 and another who is the caretaker for her husband who has suffered a stroke and is paralyzed. Although Susan and I know the outcome of my battle with MSA will be my death, we did somehow feel fortunate that we have been able to share raising our children and having time to share together, something that some of these mothers and sons have not been able to have.
When speaking with Valerie and Chrissy, they expressed their desire to have more fundraisers every few months to continue to raise funds for MSA research and told us about an event BW3’s is sponsoring on May 23rd. If you visit BW3’s and present a MSA flyer, (available on my Facebook page) on that date, BW3 will donate a portion of the proceeds to us to further MSA research. We shared that we will also be having the same type of event at Mimi’s at The Greene later this spring.
Laughingly, Valerie admitted she had gotten on Chrissy’s nerves a lot during the planning of this event. Apparently, although they are good friends, they have very different personalities. Chrissy readily admits to being obsessive-compulsive and controlling, Valerie boasts a more reckless, life to the limit attitude. Whatever their personalities are, it works. And I want to thank them, Paul Filbrun, (for donating his tips tonight) and the 88 local businesses that donated to this event, from the bottom of my heart.
If anyone would like to help fund research for MSA, they can make their tax-deductible contributions to:
Greene Giving/Hope for MSA
25 Greene Street
Xenia, Ohio 45385-3101
To order the Mother Son Awareness for MSA t-shirts, contact:
2630 Col Glenn Highway
Fairborn, Ohio 45324
A warm, heartfelt thanks to:
Valerie and Eithan Sorrells Chrissy and Ethan Fisher
Carrie Adkins Aero Lanes
TgiFridays Main Street Flowers
Texas Roadhouse Don Pablo’s
Purrfect Pet Salon Arby’s
The Inside Scoop Premiere Designs by Kristie Gray
First Watch Restaurant Simply Said by Patty Fisher
Christian Light Bookstore Cousin Vinnie’s Pizza
Luciano’s Pizza Needful Things
Taco Bell Celebrating Home by Amanda Marconet
NewsReaders Bookstore Regal Cinemas
Tropical Smoothie Roush’s Restaurant
Chantilly Cream Dessert Shop El Riacho Mexican Restaurant
Rachel’s Spa Experience Direct Jewelers
Cakes for All Occasions The Bird Cage
Foy’s Halloween Stores Schwartz’s Jewelers
Logan’s Steakhouse Papa Murphy’s Pizza
Cornerstone Health & Wellness Young’s Dairy
Domicone Printing Homewood Suites
Expressions Coffee House Super Subbys
Longhorn Steakhouse Cadillac Jacks
Jennifer’s Landmark and Gifts Tupperware by Sara Waymire
McDonald’s Jack Wilson
Olive Garden Chilis
5/3 Bank Frisch’s
Bounce U Gammies Jammies
Build-a-Bear Quaker Steak
Dayton Dragons WSU Nutter Center
Links and Kinks Kentucky Fried Chicken
Face Painting by Robby Patterson Dave & Busters
Unique Hair Design Pure Romance by Tami Gehres
Bob Evans Restaurant Fairborn Alteration and Embroidery
Chick-Fil-A Fairborn City Schools
Red Lobster Sinclair Athletics
Gold Canyon Candles by Jamie Lynn Threadworks
Fairborn Natural Foods Christian Family Bookstore
TJ Chumps Hothead Burritos
Abbey’s Donuts Dove Chocolates by Lisa Hughes
Waffle House BW 3
Salon Express Wright State University
Tastefully Simple by Lisa Gridley Fiffe Eli Salon
BFF Baskets & More FPS – Mr. Sheeler
National Cash Advance Arlington Village Apartments
Creative Memories by Lisa Hughes Mary Kay by Shannon Kennedy
To read the local news story on the event, visit: