Son Honors His Father With Gift to NorthShore
Bob Legge in his workshop in 1991
Stephen Legge was in junior high school when his father, an electrical engineer in his mid-40’s, started showing signs of Parkinson’s disease. The year was 1975. The family struggled for years to get a diagnosis. The disease took over quickly, causing him to lose his muscle control. “The doctors tried many approaches to stem the progression, including a few drugs in trial stages, but nothing could give back what was continually being taken away,” said Legge of his father.
His father Bob was a craftsman, an inventor and the guy “everyone went to when they needed something fixed,” said his son. Earlier in his life, he served in the Army as an airplane mechanic. “Of all the things to have taken from him that would affect his life and his pride, denying him from working with his hands would be the most cruel.”
“His workshop held hundreds of tools, with which remarkable things were accomplished. My father fought a daily battle to make the body do what the mind knew was possible—slowly having less and less control over the instruments of his trade,” said Legge.
To honor his dad who died in 2002 at the age of 74, some 27 years after being diagnosed, Legge, the past President of the Rotary Club of Buffalo Grove, and his members made a $1,000 gift to NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) to benefit research for Parkinson’s disease. “This is not a great amount,” said Legge, “but I’m sure every bit counts and the donation means a lot to me. My hope is that this disease is cured and that the knowledge gained provides great insight to other neurological ailments.”
Indeed, NorthShore’s Demetrius M. James (Jim) Maraganore, MD, is leading a team of NorthShore researchers in a far-reaching initiative to prevent and treat 11 neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, brain injury and autism.
“There are too many riddles that we cannot solve,” said Dr. Maraganore, the Ruth Cain Ruggles Chair of Neurology, Co-Director of NorthShore Neurological Institute and on faculty at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. “We recognize that research is the engine that drives innovation and will allow us to develop methods to predict, prevent and halt neurological diseases.”
To learn more about how you can support the neurological research at NorthShore, please contact John Hanson, PhD, Director of Philanthropy, at 224.364.7208 or make an online contribution.