Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death himself. – Albert Schweitzer.
Too often, life changes on a dime as my pastor frequently tells our congregation. Just ask any person suffering with CRPS when they developed CRPS/RSD and they can immediately relate the date and time. So it was with Cynthia Penaskovic, a vibrant naval pediatric flight nurse who developed CRPS/RSDS 25-years ago after a car accident in southern California. Her doctors at Scripps Torrey Pines in San Diego called it “one of the worse cases of widespread RSDS they had even seen.”
Joan Penaskovic, Cynthia’s sister spoke of her subsequent “solitary life spent creating exquisite beaded art which she often donated, until she could no longer hold the threads. She was blessed with extraordinary grace and courage, providing loving support for her widowed mom, family and friends, when she was the one in dire need.” Sadly, Cynthia lost her 23-year-old battle with CRPS in November 2013.
Joan Penaskovic and Veronica Meyers, Cynthia’s mother wrote to RSDSA to inquire about establishing a Cynthia Penaskovic Memorial Fund. Cynthia envisioned a fund that would “serve as a lightning rod for CRPS/CRPS Research Only so that “no one would ever suffer the way I did.’ The RSDSA Board of Directors unanimously accepted a very generous donation to establish The Cynthia Penaskovic Memorial Fund. It was stipulated that the funds would be donated to promising laboratories and scientists through fellowships and grants targeting research for a cure.
Serendipitously their gift arrived at the right time. RSDSA has recently established an International Research Consortium with the goal of linking laboratories worldwide to foster greater collaboration amongst scientists researching CRPS; thus producing more robust studies leading to better treatments and hopefully a cure.
Joan Penaskovic asked us to encourage the CRPS community to join in this effort. Her simple plea is, “Do not let Cynthia’s suffering be in vain. It was her last wish to help drive funding for Research and with your help we can cure RSDS/CRPS. Donate now.”
- Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States cautioned us that the treatments of today cannot be the treatments of tomorrow.” Consider that the National Institutes of Health only invests less than one percent of research dollars into pain research. It is up to us.
To donate to The Cynthia Penaskovic Memorial Fund, visit https://rsds.org/donate/ and give generously in Cynthia’s memory (make sure that you write in memory of Cynthia in the box on PayPal’s second page) or in the memo line of your check. Thank you for your generosity.