Harry McMurtry’s 2015 Keynote, “Things can be better”

A Message from Honorary Patron Jeanne Becker

Harry McMurtry

Bronia Beker, my mom

My dear mother, Bronia Beker, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about a decade ago. At the time, we knew precious little about the potential ravages of the disease, but certainly learned more than we wanted over the past ten years. It was heartbreaking to see my brilliant, “Energizer Bunny” of a mum slowly succumb to Parkinson’s, as she gallantly tried to fight one of the toughest battles imaginable. My mother was a Holocaust survivor after all. And though she was fortunate enough to be under the care of one of the best neurologists “Toronto’s brilliant Dr. Tony Lang” this cruel disease took its toll.

My beloved mum passed away in May 2015, at the age of 94. It was her time. But her indomitable spirit lives on. Since the very first Porridge for Parkinson’s breakfast, my mum delighted in attending, charmed to be able to meet and chat with others who were dealing with Parkinson’s, and very keen on learning more about the research progress that was being made. While I doubt she thought there’d be a cure in her lifetime, she certainly had hope that there’d be one in mine. In 2015, it gave me special pleasure and great honour to emcee this wonderful event. I know my mum was watching.

Jeanne Beker

Jeanne Beker is a Canadian journalist, media personality, and fashion entrepreneur. She was the host of the internationally syndicated Fashion Television (FT) which aired for 27 years and had viewers in more than 120 countries. Jeanne has been an editor and author for numerous publications and is currently a featured style columnist for the Globe and Mail and Post City magazine. She was Style Editor of The Shopping Channel and hosted a regular series for the channel. Her fashion credits include her clothing line, Edit by Jeanne Beker as well as a number of product lines. Jeanne has won numerous awards and was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Read more at jeannebeker.com.
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