A Sister Remembers An Exceptional Brother

By Jenny Marzolf

Greg Marzolf Jr. FamilyAll my life, I was told that my brother Greg was someone exceptional. I was told he was braver and had a stronger will than most people. And he most certainly did. Yet, to me he was my older brother, my best friend, my bully and my confidant. While those who didn’t know him saw him as the boy in the wheelchair rising above adversity, I saw him as normal.

I used to call him my human dictionary when I did my homework because he could spell every word for me, no problem, in one attempt. And I used to have squirt gun fights with him in the backyard, eventually leading to his electric wheelchair falling in the pool. To me, he was the older brother who did what he was supposed to do to a little sister: joke, bully, laugh, teach, and encourage. I firmly believe that this is the way Greg would wish to be viewed, as a person beyond his wheelchair. Because of these traits, to all who knew him, he was truly exceptional. To me Greg was normal because his wheelchair did not define him and often went unnoticed yet at the same time; everyone around Greg quickly realized that because he was so normal yet lived such a difficult and deeply challenging life, he was extraordinary.

Greg Marzolf Jr. JROTCMy elder brother Greg Marzolf, Jr. was an advocate for justice. He wished to change the world, not because he was the boy in the wheelchair but because he was an individual who looked beyond his personal sphere. Greg’s desire to educate others on disabilities, prejudice and inequality was driven by the reality that he was not the only one in his position. Greg was ready to get involved and work to raise money to find a cure to muscular diseases. Because of Greg’s bright smile, witty sense of humor and positive attitude towards life, others were and continually are inspired to raise money to find a cure to Muscular Dystrophy (MD) diseases. With charisma and optimism, Greg encouraged others to join him in the fight against MD. Because of the inspiring life he led, his mission to find a cure continues on.

Friends and family of Greg began raising funds to research a cure years ago. From garage sales to selling cook books, the community joined in Greg’s cause. Today, eight years after Greg’s death, his mission and cause continues. Through the Greg Marzolf, Jr. Foundation, undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis are working to find a cure to Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, thanks to the scholarships they receive in Greg’s name. Due to the funds the Greg Marzolf Jr Foundation raises through the annual ‘Cause to Cook for a Cure’ events as well as other fundraising opportunities, the mission of Greg is closer to coming true.

Through your previous donations and continued donations, the Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation has achieved great accomplishments. The Foundation continues to work in Greg’s name and for his cause, not because he was the boy in the wheelchair but because, as many know, he was a truly exceptional person.