Benefiting the Vasculitis Foundation Research Fund
When somebody passes, it’s only natural to remember the good and forget the bad. But, I in no way amplify the truth when I say that my father, Ilya Peckerman, was a warm, energetic and brave man. Every day of his 56-year existence was lived with zest, vivacity and a can-do attitude. He passed these traits onto his two daughters – my sister Michelle and me – as well as his wife of 35 years, Malvina, and the rest of his family and friends. He was our social director, always planning the next spontaneous family trip, BBQ, fishing expedition, or sushi night.
Sadly, our father passed away from complications associated with Wegener’s Granulomatosis on December 18, 2009 just 15 days after his 56th birthday. Wegener’s is a disease few doctors ever see, so it’s not always easy to diagnose. My mother, sister and I knew something was wrong when his intense sinusitis wasn’t going away; with some force and leg work we got him diagnosed in early June 2009. With the help of his team of specialists, serious medication, and a strong will for life, my father was managing his illness. In August, he was able to walk me down the aisle and enjoy my wedding day. After going to work for about three months, he had a flare-up in late November. When he passed away, we not only lost a father and husband, but a remarkable friend.
We are sharing our story because from such hardship, my family hopes to help others. Under the arm of the Vasculitis Foundation, we have launched the Ilya Peckerman Fund to help raise money for specific initiatives within the foundation. Our goal is to bring awareness, increase education, and assist in funding new research related to Wegener’s. It’s not easy putting these words out there to the world, but we’re hopeful that a lot of good comes from it.
Our first benchmark is to fund a research project and have it named after Ilya Peckerman. The financial goal: $50,000. After that mark is crossed, we will move on to our next goal.
One way we plan to raise money is through fashion. My sister and I are in the fashion industry and many of our designer friends have generously offered to donate a percentage of sales from certain merchandise to the Ilya Peckerman Fund. Several designers are even creating unique products specifically to benefit the cause. We will announce participating designers and upcoming fundraising events in the coming weeks.
Thank you to the VF team for doing what they doing and helping so many people stricken with Wegener’s Granulomatosis and other vasculitis-related diseases. We truly hope that a cure will be found, or at the very least enough research will be done to uncover the cause(s) of Wegener’s Granulomatosis.
Finally, a special thank you to our father for teaching us to live our lives without regrets, to chase our dreams no matter how off-the-way they may be and for knowing that there is no such thing as an extra hug, kiss or “I love you”.
Papa, we love you, we miss you and we honor you. Carpe Diem always!
Malvina Peckerman and daughters, Michelle Finkelshteyn and Pamela Pekerman Tenenbayev
To date, family, friends and supporters have raised over $29,000 for Research!