Last week, I completed my Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) local unit travel for the year. What a joy and blessing you all have been to TRTA and me this year!
What a year it has been. We have much to be grateful for and still more to accomplish in the months ahead. I am anxious to see what great things we will achieve in 2020.
Today, I want to share a story with you about my friend Peter Lowry. Peter has many wonderful attributes. He is an accomplished physician, family man and adventurer. He is also the son of Dr. Bruce and Susan Lowry. I have known Susan for many years. She is well-known and thought highly of in our retired education employee community around the nation. I have gotten to know Bruce even better through stories I have heard about his love for athletics, hockey and climbing. He is a pretty tough guy!
It was Bruce who instilled in his son Peter the love of climbing mountains and seeking new ways to push the body to greater heights. It makes me tired just to write that last sentence!
A little over eighteen months ago, Dr. Bruce Lowry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As Peter describes it, “because I am a physician and he is a physician, I know that he knows more than most people do about what could be ahead for him.” Dr. Peter Lowry, being a loving son and driven person, decided to help advance research into curing Parkinson’s disease.
Facing the giant mountain in front of him, Peter knew he needed to get as many family members, friends and supporters as possible to become more aware of how many people are hurt by this disease. All his life, Peter has been taught that when there is a mountain in front of you, the best objective is to climb it. Conquering the mountain means pushing onward and upward until you get to the summit!
Peter knew that if he attempted to do something that less than 450 people have ever done in all of human history, he stood a good chance of getting people involved in donating and raising awareness about curing Parkinson’s disease.
Peter has been participating in the “Seven Summits”—the climbing of the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. As I said, less than 450 people in human history have ever been known to accomplish this objective. When I heard about what he was doing and why, he had my attention!
Peter self-funds his climbs and is raising awareness of the efforts being made to cure Parkinson’s. With more than 10 million people impacted by this disease worldwide and more than 60,000 new cases in America every year, Peter is not only helping his dad, but everyone who has been touched by this disease and who may ever be impacted.
I shared this story with many of my TRTA friends. Several told me stories about people in their lives who have suffered from Parkinson’s. Many asked if they could donate to the charity for which Peter is raising funds.
Typically, we all have some very special charitable purpose we support. Sometimes that support is financial, or may be given in time, energy, or through words of encouragement. Personally, I plan my giving around two major groups—my church and the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF).
However, I have been impacted by this story and have seen many of my retired educator friends and family members suffer from Parkinson’s. I gladly gave to this effort and I know that the small role I played was part of a much larger endeavor to help solve this problem.
I know that not everyone is able to give and if you are not able to give a financial donation, that is okay. No one should ever feel pressured to give! If, however, you are comfortable donating, please click here to visit Dr. Peter Lowry’s donation page and join in his effort to help end Parkinson’s disease.
Whether you are able to give or not, please share a story of encouragement, by either replying to this email (I will share your comments and positive thoughts with Dr. Lowry) or by visiting the donation page and leaving your story or words of encouragement there.
TRTA is so appreciative for our members and supporters. It is our sincerest hope that you enjoy the happiest of holidays this season and that we will all find continued success in the coming new year!
Your friend and advocate,
TRTA Executive Director