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Friday, March 5, 2010

My father, my hero: Paul Farbstein

Today is the third anniversary of the death of my father, my hero, Paul Farbstein.

He waged a long fight with Parkinson's Disease, without complaining. Even this disabling and humbling disease did not pierce his characteristic calmness.

With my mother's help, he did daily stretching exercises. To keep some muscle tone, he used a Theracycle, a self-propelling exercise bicycle, which greatly delayed his need for a wheelchair.

Long before Parkinson's, he had written a living will to express his wishes, and opted against heroic measures. We brought him to a hospice in the final days, at my urging. At that point, the only thing I could give my father was a good death.

Advice: Live like Paul Farbstein.

Read another story about hospice care.

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