Phyllis Sockwell: Forging the Future of Parkinson's Research
Phyllis Sockwell was an advocate her entire life. She worked to better the public school system of her Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. When diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) she began her last quest to support a new kind of education - Parkinson's research.
Throughout her life, Phyllis donated more than $200,000 to fund Parkinson's research at her local level, namely at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical Foundation, a Parkinson's Foundation Center of Excellence where she received expert PD care.
"She lived to the age of 87, which is surely a result of her efforts to remain mentally and physically active," said Susan Sockwell Bendlin, Phyllis's daughter.
Phyllis lived with Parkinson's for more than 20 years, consistently supporting her passion for PD research and public education. In 2013, when she was recognized as a "Town Treasure" Phyllis said, "I care about people…I care about making things better for others."
Phyllis's memory lives on. "Per my mother's request, her brain was immediately donated in her effort to support of Parkinson's research." Phyllis also wanted to leave a legacy, so she left a 401(k) donation to the foundation.
"Americans own several trillions of dollars in the form of pension plans, 401(k)s, IRAs and more," said Parkinson's Foundation planned giving officer Amy Mauser, JD. "When leaving a retirement donation to a charity some people might not know that the estate does not pay taxes on the donation. In contrast, when left to family, taxes on these plans can be exorbitant, sometimes exceeding 50 percent."
Phyllis will be remembered as a Parkinson's advocate and now, as a Parkinson's Foundation Legacy Society member. "I hope her monetary gift will help researchers find life-changing solutions to Parkinson's," Susan said.