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Condolences to Paula's Family

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Unread 11-08-2012, 10:23 PM   #1
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Laugh Condolences to Paula's Family

To a brother, a sister, two daughters, two grandchildren, some cousins and some close friends, and others we have not yet met,

Husband B and I hope that you will accept our sincere condolences on the loss of Paula, your dear one and our treasured friend. We admire her strength these last days as we did her work as an advocate for Parkinson's Disease and her earlier work teaching disabled children.

We thank you for your kindly welcome, and we enjoyed your hospitality more than we can say.

We are thankful with you that that her passing this afternoon was peaceful and comfortable.

Bless you all. We love you.

Jaye and B
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Unread 11-09-2012, 10:04 AM   #2
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thank you Jay for letting us know about Paula. She was a great friend, and an inspiring advocate, and I miss her already. I know that your being there with her during her last few days must have been a huge comfort to Paula and to her family. Rest in peace, Paula.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 11:13 AM   #3
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Default This is what I posted on facebook

Paula Wittekind died yesterday. She was a pioneering advocate for patients who have Parkinson's Disease. Her's was the first voice to respond when I looked to the internet for support more than a decade ago. People living with PD worldwide owe her a debt of gratitude for insisting that patients have a place at the table where all of the important decisions are being made about our lives; I am certain she hastened the cure that still eludes us, but will someday be found. She was my mentor and friend, and I miss her. Rest in peace, Paula!

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” — Susan B. Anthony
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Unread 11-09-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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Default Rest in Peace

My condolences go out to Paula's family and dear friends and to the many people in the PD community, who admire her steadfast advocacy and leadership over years for the benefit of all PwP. She will be missed, but as she knew, she will be in a better place at peace after making a difference in a a life worth living.

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Unread 11-09-2012, 10:53 PM   #5
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Default How I met Paula Wittekind...a couple of my memories

Paula Wittekind will be, and already is, missed by many!!

Paula was the very first PWP I ever met and that was in 1998. I was still living in Fl at that time, where I was raised and raised my children. I met her daughters and Greg, who had a lawn business back then, and Paula's crazy sleeping and eating habits.

We tried to start a PD support group together in Lakeland, my hometown, but it flopped. Maybe it was because we had secured the Police Dept public conference room for the meeting, I don't know. She and Greg stayed at my place in Lakeland when she had her one and only MDS appointment with Dr. Hauser at USF in Tampa.

I met Paula by way of the Brain Talk forum; you have to be an "oldtimer" to remember that forum. Over those first couple of years, I slept on her sofa more than a few times. We walked the beach and got ice cream cones at her fav spot in town. On one beach occasion, we were walking back to the car through the beach "underbrush" and almost stumbled into a dead 12 foot alligator...no joke...it was itchy to say the least, and fortunately it was dead. I remember that because we had a good laugh over the incident.

On one visit she told me about this guy who wanted to start a grassroots clinical trial advocacy project and did I want to join a planned conference call with him and a woman named Peggy. Sure I said. Little did I know how much work it would be over the next decade.

I remember the night, unbeknownst to Paula, that I stayed up all night long learning the software and constructing the first generation of the PPP website; it was pretty crude back then. She woke the next morning to find me at the computer and asked me, "Did you stay up all night?" I was scolded that morning!!

She introduced me to Peggy (the woman) and Perry (the guy,) and dragged me to my first PAN Forum in 1999 where we were roommates for the next two or three forums.

Too many stories...

Paula was one heck of a character

My sincere condolences to her family.

Carolyn Stephenson

Last edited by CarolynS; 11-09-2012 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Forgot to sign my name.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #6
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Paula was an amazing connector of people. It was another set of connections that brought a different group together, with some of the people you mention, Carolyn, and to day my life is what it is because of those connections that Paula made with you, Perry and Peggy.

Even though she had fears about travelling to Glasgow in 2010, she made it over, and I finally got to meet this amazing, life-changing lady, full of energy, challenge and humour. Today as I type this I wonder how many other lives her actions changed.

The connections she helped make are still acting powerfully for pwp in so many ways.

You post reminded me of an old thread on Braintalk about ice cream and pwp. I would have loved to have sat with Paula and enjoyed an icecream and her company again.

My sympathies are with all of Paula's family and friends.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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Default Goodbye Paula

I am truly saddened with the report of Paula's passing. Now I will never meet her face to face , until we meet on the other side. Paula was one of my heroes. She was bright, curious, open minded, outspoken, very empathic and supporting. I eagerly looked forward to anything she posted on the forum.

To me, Paula was someone who was very careful with another's vulnerabilities.

I will miss her daily presence on this forum. A big part of her lives on in these archives and her legacy of activism to place PWPs at the trialing tables I hope endures.
Thank you, Paula for being such a big part of my every day.
My sympathy to her family; I wish you all Peace.
Madelyn Levy
In the last analysis, we see only what we are ready to see, what we have been taught to see. We eliminate and ignore everything that is not a part of our prejudices.

~ Jean-Martin Charcot

The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed. William Gibson
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Unread 11-11-2012, 03:04 AM   #8
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Default Paula

My heartfelt condolences to Paula's family. Unfortunately I never met her. But she was a foundation stone for the neurotalk forum, and I have corresponded with her over many years. I hope it is a comfort to her family to know how much she was appreciated by Parkinson's sufferers all over the world.
Ron Hutton
Diagnosed Nov 1991.
Born 1936
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Unread 11-12-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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Default Paula

Our condolences go to Randy, Jessica, Nathan, Greg, and all the rest of Paula's family. She loved you all; she told us so. And we here in the PD community loved her, too. Paula was among the first group of PwPs we met in person, twelve years ago. She was a close friend and comrade. Paula played an integral part in the establishment of PD patient empowerment, inspiring on a personal level and making waves on national and international fronts. It is hard to imagine continuing on this journey without her. We join our fellow PwPs in voicing our gratitude for all of Paula's myriad qualities and in recognition of our profound loss at her passing, but also respecting and celebrating her way out and her faith in her own future. Paula, you go, girl!

AJ & Greg Wasson
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Unread 11-12-2012, 10:42 PM   #10
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Heart Paula, my Soul Sister

Linda H., I miss Paula already, too. And like digger, Paula was the first to get in touch with me concerning getting involved with advocacy.She was a go-getter for certain.

But we became more like Soul Sisters. We used to even fight like sisters, and I think it was because we were so much alike. Both of us were blondes with fair skin, both were school teachers, stubborn as mules, and both love our grandkids more than life itself!

Paula and I made a great team, with other players as well: Linda, Carolyn, Perry,Kath Laura, Bob, Pam, Lindy, Girija, Greg and AJ and others here in the forum. As you know several of us are writing a book collectively about how we all "found" each other in this forum. I wish we had finished it before Paula left us. But it will be ready for distribution soon, and Paula can continue to be with us.

My deepest sympathy to Paula's family - I think I met almost all of them ! I am unsure of where you go when you leave this life - some say this is it (gosh I hope not!), but I think Paula can see and hear us. So I say to you my dear friend, Paula, I love you - your family - and what you have started in advocacy work to beat this dreaded disease. And we shall overcome and beat this thing.

As Greg Wasson coined this phrase I love it, and I'm going to use it, because it says it all. I'LL SEE YOU AT THE DANCE
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