Parkinson's Community Mourns The Loss Of Milly Kondracke
July 22, 2004
The Parkinson community mourns the loss of Milly Kondracke after her long struggle with Parkinson's disease. She was 64.
Said Jeffrey C. Martin, Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) Board Chairman: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Mort and his daughters on this sad and terrible day. We hope the Kondracke family will take some comfort in the knowledge that Milly was not just a strong, wonderful wife and mother, and a good friend, but also a tireless advocate who relentlessly fought to find a cure for her disease."
Millicent Martinez Kondracke, the wife of journalist, television commentator and PAN Board Member Mort Kondracke, suffered from Parkinson's disease for 17 years. After her diagnosis, she came to embody the continuing fight for a cure through advocacy. Mrs. Kondracke became well known on Capitol Hill and in the media, calling for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health as well as for federal support for stem cell research. In 2002, PAN created the Milly Kondracke Award for Advocacy in her honor, and it is awarded every year at the Morris K. Udall Awards Dinner.
"Milly personified advocacy," said PAN Executive Director Amy L. Comstock. "I hope that the advocates fighting for a cure today will learn from her extraordinary example."
In 2001, Mort Kondracke authored a book about their marriage and fight against Parkinson's disease, entitled, Saving Milly: Love, Politics and Parkinson's Disease.
"Milly Kondracke was an amazing person. She had one of the strongest wills I 've ever seen. And her strength was always there. Even when she lost the ability to speak, I could see it in her beautiful, big brown eyes. But she couldn't stop Parkinson's disease from robbing her of everything else. It's a devastating loss. Milly's determination to help stop Parkinson's disease will continue to inspire all of us." said PAN President Joan Samuelson.
Mrs. Kondracke is survived by her husband; her two daughters, Alexandra, a filmmaker in Los Angeles, and Andrea, a physician in New York; her sister, Alexandra Wheeler, an artist living in London, and an extended family of foster sisters and brothers.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:30am on Tuesday, August 3, 2004 at St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle Street, NW, Washington, D.C. There will be a private burial at Rock Creek Cemetery.
Founded in 1991, PAN is the unified education and advocacy voice of the Parkinson's communityover one million Americans and their families. Through education and interaction with the Parkinson's community, scientists, lawmakers, opinion leaders, and the public, PAN fights for a cure by increasing awareness about Parkinson's disease and seeks increased federal support for Parkinson's research. For more information on the Parkinson's Action Network, please visit www.parkinsonsaction.org or call 1-800-850-4726.