Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a disease in which the Syx family became well-versed. This was not always the case. When the family’s patriarch, Bud Syx, was diagnosed with LBD at the age of 58, no one in the Syx family had ever heard of the fiercely aggressive and fatal disease. With the diagnosis in hand, they began an immediate quest to find the best treatment, information, and support available.
“That was not an easy task,” says Dianne Syx, wife and primary caregiver, “I found that outside of medical care providers in highly-specialized neurology, there wasn’t much help to be had out there. Thankfully, I found the LBDA web site, and it gave me some much needed education and support, but there is still a great need to raise awareness and research dollars for LBD.”
To that end, last year the Syx Family held their 7th annual pumpkin carving event to benefit Lewy Body research. The event was started over 7 years ago by Steven and Amy Syx, children of Bud, as a pumpkin carving contest for a small group of friends. It has persisted and grown, from an event of 5 or 6 people to a highly anticipated event of over 75 people.
After Bud’s death in 2006, the family decided to continue the event to honor his life and to benefit LBD. Last year $800 was raised. “We realize that $800 is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but every year as our event grows, more and more people become aware of the disease and we are able to contribute towards LBD research,” explains Steven Syx. “And, we have a really good time.”
Indeed, the fun of it is the really important part for the Syx family. “My dad loved hosting parties and events for the sake of gathering people together and enjoying life. He would have loved this; the carving, the spirited competition, the kids and, most of all, the joyous noise we make - the laughter. It’s all good,” says Amy.