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Xavier Magazine | November 24, 2017

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Voice of Hope

Marge Thurin’s parents were always involved in service organizations. So Thurin expected that she would be, as well. But Thurin didn’t envision the unexpected challenges she would face along the way.

Thurin graduated from Edgecliff College in 1956 and came to Xavier to begin working on her Master of Education degree. In between, she met her husband, David, who received his MEd from Xavier in 1957. The couple married the next year and quickly began raising a family.

But in 1972, at age 43, David was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. By then, the family was living in Minnesota, and Thurin became active at Struther’s Parkinson’s Center and chaired its community advisory board for a number of years.

Through the Struther’s Center, she started giving presentations for caregivers and families, and by the late 1990s, she occasionally “hit the road” for the National Parkinson’s Foundation.

The road trips gave her much-needed breaks in caring for David, who battled Parkinson’s until his death in 2003.

In 2006, Thurin delivered a presentation on hospice care to the World Congress on Parkinson’s Disease in Washington, D.C. She was the only non-scientist who spoke.

Now eyeing retirement, Thurin works part time helping the elderly who have problems with the system. She also serves as a Eucharistic minister at a local hospital.

“If we are going to fulfill mission as Christians, we have to serve one another,” she says. “People served us as well. It’s kind of like karma: What you put out there, you get back.”

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