15 years ago my mom told me that her friend & client, Holly Robinson Peete was having an event at her house to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease. I knew Holly’s dad had Parkinson’s Disease and that he was being treated for it. At 15 years old, I didn’t understand why money needed to be raised for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. Don’e people raise money for cures?I mean, people had health insurance, right? Isn’t that what Health Insurance is for? It was all too confusing for my teenage brain to compute in the middle of college applications, A.P. Tests & who was going to be the love of my life for the next three weeks.
One day I was visiting Holly and my mom on set of their show, For Your Love. Holly and I were sitting in her dressing room chit chatting and I asked her about the foundation and this event she hosted. I asked her why not raise funds for a cure and just let people get treatment through their health insurance. I was surprised when she said, not everyone has health insurance. And that if you did, sometimes your health insurance didn’t cover everything. Then she said something that stuck with me:
“A cure would be great! We want a cure! We also need people to have a better quality of life. A cure is not the only solution.”
A better quality of life. Right now. These people are living right now and most of them don’t have time for a cure, so we must find solutions now. That’s what she and her husband, Rodney have been doing for the past 15 years. In 2002, The HollyRod Foundation partnered with the Center for Parkinson’s Research and Movement Disorders at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and established The HollyRod Compassionate Care Program. The CCP helped patients have a better quality of life through assistance with medications, therapies, support groups, and other care services as needed. With the expansion of HollyRod For Kids that helps spread awareness of Autism, The Compassionate Care Program has grown! Now HollyRod is offering the Gift of Voice to people with Autism who are non-verbal or minimally verbal, by donating a computer tablet and specialized apps so that they can finally have a voice!
This year on the 27th of July, Holly & Rodney will celebrate their 15th anniversary of their annual event, DesignCare . An event celebrating life, fashion,and music, while raising money for The Compassionate Care Program, that will help create a better quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s & Autism. If you are in Los Angeles this Saturday night, you should totally be there!! It’s such a fun event! And it’s only gotten better every year. I can’t imagine what this year has in store! Get your tickets HERE.
On a personal note, I’d like to share how I feel about this lady. Holly is a champion. She has been and remains one of my heroes. She sees a problem, and finds a way to fix it. And not just by throwing big elaborate parties and fundraisers. I’ve seen her literally jump into solution mode and change a person’s life. She just gets it! She was one of the first people outside of my immediate family to show me how other kids live and just how important participating in your community really is. She showed me that community is global. That Community is humanity. Her example has been a blessing in my life and I am so excited about how HollyRod has grown. She and Rodney have been able to help so many deserving families while successfully raising their own. The courage it took to shine a bright public light on two very personal challenges in order to help others, is inspiring. Most would have claimed defeat and let a family tragedy unfold. They didn’t. This is a gift they have shared with the world. No matter your challenge, it will never be greater than you! That’s what I love about Holly & Rodney & what they’ve done with The HollyRod Foundation. They lift people up. They give them hope and power to combat their challenges.
Congratulations to Holly, Rodney, The Robinson & Peete families and everyone who has ever worked with, volunteered for, donated to and has been changed by The HollyRod Foundation!
Holly & Rodney,
Fifteen years is incredible! I’m amazed each year by how you grow the foundation and how you never get tired of helping people. You have changed the way people look at Parkinson’s, Autism, Healthcare and one another. Thank you for all you do. We are so proud of you and love you both very much! Looking forward to the next 15 years!!
Brookie Brookie & Jaxxy