The Parkinson’s community has lost a tireless advocate and PAN Indiana State Director, Deloris “Dee” Garrett.
Garrett passed away on October 29. She was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999 shortly before becoming involved in advocacy and community engagement for the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) and her local Parkinson’s organizations. In 2009, she won the Louis Fishman Advocacy Award from PAN for her advocacy efforts.
After joining PAN, Garrett established excellent relationships with Members of Congress, wrote letters, discussed policy, gave speeches to educate the community, worked at PAN tables at various meetings, recruited new members, and wrote articles for local papers. She also participated in several clinical trials aiming to find better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
“The Parkinson’s community suffers a tremendous loss with Dee’s passing,” said Amy Comstock Rick, CEO of PAN. “She was one of our most diligent and enthusiastic advocates and we will miss her dearly.”
Garrett’s enthusiasm for helping others with Parkinson’s was apparent in her willingness to bring people together to solve problems. For example, when she was diagnosed she realized that doctors often do not have materials to send home with people with Parkinson’s. She helped form a committee with three hospitals in the Indianapolis area to ensure people diagnosed with Parkinson’s had materials to take home.
In addition to working with the Parkinson’s community, Garrett was an active civil servant in her community, winning the TRACI Award from the City of Indianapolis for outstanding volunteerism.
Her professional background was also an asset to her work as a PAN advocate. Garrett graduated from college magna cum laude with multiple majors in science, speech and hearing, and psychology. She also completed a dual master’s degree in speech pathology and psychology, and served as a licensed psychologist and social worker.
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Date originally posted: October 30, 2013.