Hello and welcome to my blog dedicated to two of my favorite things – fashion and shoes! I have loved shoes since I was three years old. As a little girl, I used to try on all of my aunts’ shoes and parade around the room during family gatherings. It’s a miracle I never fell and broke my neck! I think the only thing that saved me is that they all wore small shoes.
My passion for shoes, at least high-heeled shoes, had to take a hiatus for several years after I was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, chronic movement disorder. The disease brings many challenges to daily living, including the inability to maintain good balance. As my symptoms progressed, the high heels gave way to flats. I acquired quite a few pairs of flats – cute ones too, but I think we can all agree it’s not the same as wearing a sexy pair of high heels.
In August 2013, I underwent the first of two Deep Brain Stimulation (“DBS”) surgeries to help manage my symptoms. The surgery was a tremendous success, and I regained much of my balance. As a result, I was able to dust off my shoe collection (literally) and return to wearing so many of the styles that I enjoy. It’s a little thing, but it sure feels amazing to put on high heels again.
In part, this blog is my way of celebrating that my dream of regaining the ability to balance in heels has come true (along with many other blessings from the surgeries). It is also a way to share my journey with Parkinson’s, including my efforts to support the critical work being done by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. While DBS provides a life-changing treatment, it is not a cure. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is leading the way in the fight for a cure, and I am proud to be a part of that effort as a member of Team Fox.
As part of my ongoing efforts to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation, I host an annual event called “The Art of Fashion.” The Art of Fashion is a fusion of Central Florida’s fashion and art communities in a truly unique format. I am proud to share that the event raised nearly $7,000 this year.
In April of this year, I also hosted an international social media campaign to raise awareness of young onset Parkinson’s Disease, in partnership with Team Fox. The “Heels On, Head Up!” campaign was launched with a video in the Bloomingdales shoe department, and ultimately gained national media exposure.
I am incredibly grateful for the many wonderful people and businesses that have supported me in my quest to raise awareness. If you are interested in learning about Parkinson’s disease and my latest events in support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, please visit my Team Fox page.
Thank you for allowing me to share this journey with you.