My father had Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating motor disability. He also had Schizophrenia and Advanced Dementia, a product of the drugs and disease state. For more than 20 years, his brain and his limbs were slowly chewed out by these illnesses.

His disease didn’t stop him. I can attest to his can-do, “no one is stopping me” attitude. It reigned supreme in all of his business and family affairs. It’s that attitude that helped him immigrate from Bangladesh to the US, to bring us here, to help us foster a beautiful life. I’m deeply thankful for all of this.

Disease shouldn’t ever get in the way of a person’s drive to live. And I take personal responsibility to help raise awareness and end this disease. That’s why I’m donating $500 to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

I don’t have a crazy Kickstarter fund or anything like that. I’m not asking you to donate (though, that would be cool). I just want to put my money where my mouth is and help end this disease.

I have a distinct fear in the future, that I may also have this disease. While genetic links and environmental links have been brought up as reasons, I don’t really know what my future holds. However, if I have even half the spirit of my father, I will be able to get through this as well, inshallah.

I also want to request a special dua for my mother, for having the strength and the endurance to be his caretaker for much of his life. My mother went above and beyond, and she still does to this day. As my soldier, guarding me in life’s toughest challenges, I always stay at a sense of ease.