Steve's Crusaders - Fighting Degenerative Brain Disorders

Stephen M. Paresa was raised with humble Hawaiian beginnings in a two bedroom home on Oahu's beautiful North Shore.  His parents Manuel and Evelyn taught him the value of hard work, a lesson he later instilled in his own family.  He was a gifted craftsman who renovated and built homes for enjoyment.  His talents led him to serve as the Nuclear Production Manager at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard where he spent 34 years always going above and beyond, ensuring our nation's security.  Upon his retirement, he took up the hobby of Hawaiian woodworking and sold many of his products in the prestigous Martin & MacArtur store, while also gifting many of his creations to family and friends.  

Like a thief in the night, CJD stole what we all took for granted, dad's ability to design, build and create.  I remember the day dad called and said something was wrong with mom and he needed my help.  It was my birthday... a day that is now filled with sadness.  I asked to speak to mom and she confided that something was seriously wrong with dad.  He was not sleeping and would search the house at night with a flashlight looking for "something."   Dad was having trouble processing and we were afraid he had suffered a stroke.  We quickly realized that was not the issue, as his first neurologist explained that dad was suffering from rapid onset dementia, or Lewy Body's Dementia (LBD).  We began to prepare for what our future together would be like, only to later be told that his decline was much too rapid even for the cruel disease of LBD.  After experiencing an onset of hallucinations, and being unable to sleep but for a few minutes at a time, we took dad to the hospital a few days before Valentine's Day 2020.  Within days he lost his ability to walk; however, he always knew where he was and who we all were.  Doctors mentioned CJD and said it was unlikely, as it is extremely rare affecting 1 in a million.  We were given hope because we were told it was more likely encephalitis that could be reversed with steroid treatment.  Treatments began and dad started to feel energetic; however, he continued to physically decline.  Dad knew something was wrong and shared that he needed his brain to be rebooted.  He willingly undertook the steroid treatments as we waited for the CJD results saying he would give us more time because we were worth the pain.  When dad's third MRI results came back it was was consistent with CJD. 

A cure was not to be, dad subcummbed to CJD on 3-4-20 just a few weeks after being admitted to the hospital.  Receiving a diagnosis of CJD is equivalent to receiving a death sentence because CJD is always fatal.  We were traumatized as we watched dad rapidly decline, suffer from horrible hallucinations, and visual distortions that made him fear for the safety of his family.  We cannot stand by and let dad's suffering be in vain.  Thus, we walk to raise funds and awareness so that others may receive support in their suffering, and most importantly that research continues to end this cruel disease.  CJD is often referred to as alzheimers on steroids; but unfortunately it does not get the attention and funding that other brain degenerative diseases receive.  Advances in CJD research have proven beneficial to other brain degenerative disorders; therefore we humbly ask that you consider giving whatever financial support you can to help us win the battle against CJD. Every dollar contributed to this cause matters, so please join our crusade and be part of the Strides for CJD!

Our Team Fundraising Page

Text to Give

To donate to my Strides for CJD text STRIDES2022 to 50155. 

About Fundraising

Donations of $250 and above are considered sponsorships.

Sponsorship Levels:

  • Diamond: $10,000
  • Platinum: $5,000
  • Gold: $1,000
  • Silver: $500
  • Bronze: $250

Diamond and Platinum Sponsors will have their name or logo displayed on participant t-shirts, the Strides for CJD website, and signage. Gold Sponsors will have their name or logo displayed on the Strides for CJD website, and will have their name listed on participant T-shirts and signage. Silver and Bronze Sponsors will have their name listed on the Strides for CJD website only.

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Our Supporters

  • Facebook Last month $50.00
  • Jewel Of Sunset Beach Let us never surrender. Let us proclaim victory! September 2022 $5,000.00
  • Susan and Michael Bacnis With Love September 2022 $100.00
  • Patricia StJohn-Gallagher September 2022 $106.00
  • Diane Pereira With lots of love September 2022 $106.00
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  • Jewel Of Sunset Beach Let us never surrender. Let us proclaim victory! September 2022 $5,000.00
  • Alyssa Chinen-Mendez August 2022 $1,000.00
  • Sylvia Patricia Paresa We need to conquer this monster. We will do it! August 2022 $1,000.00
  • Michelle Gideon August 2022 $1,000.00
  • Melanie Chinen August 2022 $1,000.00
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About Strides for CJD

Strides for CJD is an annual walk/run to raise awareness of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), a rare neurodegenerative disease that has no treatment or cure. Through this event, anyone -- anywhere -- can pay tribute to their loved ones and raise funds for the CJD Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Funds raised support our programs including:

  • Our 24/7 helpline, support groups, conference, and other family programs throughout the year.
  • Research grants to help scientists make important discoveries and bring us closer to a cure.
  • Medical education to help raise awareness and understanding of prion disease.