Maurice White


 Wanna thank you,
Wanna thank you
Freedom in stride, love, peace of mind
We just wanna give Gratitude
Got plenty love we wanna give to you
With good music and we’re tryin’ to say
That the Good Lord’s gonna make a way

Open up your heart, let your body find,
Freedom in your stride, love, peace of mind
One more time and we got to say
That the Good Lord gonna make a way.

 – Earth, Wind, & Fire-

I remember seeing and listening to  Maurice White and Philip Bailey of the group Earth, Wind, & Fire and thinking, WOW!  THESE MEN CAN SING!!!  I enjoyed their music through the years and I still do.  There was one thing that bothered me though.  Maurice White was there, singing and grooving and then he wasn’t there anymore.  I wondered why for a little while but after a while I got use to his absence.  Philip Bailey stepped in and all was right with the world. . . or was it?  In the back of my mind, I continued to wonder, “where is Maurice?”

It was not until many, many, many years later that we, the fans,  were informed that Maurice White was ill but never given the explanation of WHAT the illness was.  As technology and medicine advanced, it was exposed that he had Parkinson’s disease, also known as PD.  The only people that I knew about that had this disease was Michael J. Fox, diagnosed in 1991 and Janet Reno, diagnosed in 1995.  Now this disease was before us and more people exposed.  I was astounded by the number of people that live and/or lived with and died from this incurable disease.  Heathline, an online medical site, lists the following: Retired boxing champion  Muhammad Ali, Rev. Billy Graham, performer Johnny Cash, Governor George Wallace, Golden Girl Estelle Getty, Peanuts creator Charles Schultz, singer Linda Rondstadt, and Pope John Paul II.  There are so many more people living with this disease that we have never heard about. My uncle had this disease for over 10 years and I never knew.  It was not too long before his death that I found out.  It would behoove us to learn more about it.

According to Google, “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.  It can’t be cured, but treatment may help.  Parkinson’s often starts with a tremor in one hand. Other symptoms are slow movement, stiffness, and loss of balance. Most people’s symptoms take years to develop, and they live for years with the disease.”

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation has a national helpline.

“Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Are you adjusting to life several years into PD? Do you need help finding a physician or managing your medications? Ask the experts at PDF your questions.  Call (800) 457-6676 or email

Make it a point to learn more.  Educate yourself and those around you.  Have a fabulous Funkadelic Friday.

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