Our inspiration to contribute to CurePSP
If you ask friends or family to describe my dad, Joe McKendree, they would most likely say, “he would do anything for anyone.” His signature laugh and love for all things outdoors, including softball, would come in a close second.
Now, my dad was no ordinary men’s fastpitch softball player. He was “Smokin Joe,” a softball pitcher who was more spin than speed—meaning he had a mean slider and a knuckleball that would embarrass the best of hitters. Fortunately, after many, many evenings spent out in the yard after dinner, he passed that slider on to me and I used it (with varying success) throughout my high school and college softball days.
Over the past couple years, we’ve watched my dad succumb to the debilitating effects of PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy), essentially hindering his ability to be the grandpa, dad and husband who he once was. PSP has affected his mobility, vision, speech, swallowing, and cognitive functioning. Although those around him feel at the mercy of this terrible disease, we quickly realized there is something we can do.
The Strikeout PSP softball tournament, which was played on August 12, 2017, at the 1889 Park in South Fork, PA, was one way we were able to honor his love of softball and contribute to PSP research funding as well as raise awareness of the disease.
We partnered with Cure PSP, Inc., an organization at the forefront of promoting PSP awareness, education, and research to ensure that tournament proceeds will support the most promising PSP research initiatives.
Many friends and family helped by registering a team, donating directly to CurePSP in honor of Joe McKendree or donating items for our tournament raffle.
Sadly, my dad passed away peacefully on January 19, 2018, after a courageous 4-year battle with progressive supranuclear palsy. He left behind a wonderful loving family including his 3 beautiful granddaughters. He loved the outdoors and he served our country faithfully in the Army and later the National Guard.
We’ll continue to hope for a cure by supporting PSP research initiatives through our StrikeoutPSP at PNC Park event. Memorial donations can be made to Cure PSP, Inc.
—Amanda McKendree, Tournament Director, Strikeout PSP