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Remembering the Late Dr. Jeanne Arnold’s Profound Generosity

5 Common Myths about Parkinson's Disease Caregiving

A mutual love of the natural world brought the late Jeanne Arnold, PhD, and Delia De Sasia together. They met in an ethnobotany lab on the UCLA campus in 1990; Delia was a Clinical Specialist in respiratory care at UCLA medical center, who happened to volunteer on campus, while Jeanne was a faculty member in the anthropology department.  

“We used to hike in the desert for hours on end,” Delia says. “Jeanne could walk for miles without getting tired.” 

As vegetarians who cared about climate change, Delia and Jeanne were fond of Michael Pollan and his books about food and plants. They were more familiar with that Michael than with his brother-in-law, Michael J. Fox. But that changed when Jeanne was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2006.  

For the next eight years, Delia was Jeanne’s primary caregiver. “I told her from the beginning, we’re in this together — we’re going on this journey together,” Delia says. It was often challenging, but Jeanne focused on the positive. After Jeanne retired, Delia invited graduate students over for weekly dinners, hired a personal trainer for Jeanne and renovated their Los Angeles, California home to make it wheelchair accessible. She worked closely with Jeanne’s doctors and nursed her through surgeries.  

“Jeanne wanted to find the next cure,” Delia says. “She wanted to alleviate people’s suffering.” With that goal in mind, Jeanne made a gift to The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) in her trust. Jeanne’s generosity will further the groundbreaking research and impact of MJFF as the organization focuses on improved therapies and, ultimately, a cure. 

“She was such a smart, beautiful human being with an incredible sense of humor,” Delia says. “Jeanne will always be in my heart.” 

Help Us Find a Cure 

When you include MJFF in your estate plan, you join others like you who are helping to fund transformative research and accelerate the pace of discovery as we work to find a cure for Parkinson’s. To learn more, contact The Michael J. Fox Foundation at 212-509-1524 or

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