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May 3, 2011 > In Margie's Memory

In Margie's Memory

By Praveena Raman

For more than a decade Margie Harrison Joshi was a familiar figure at the Logan High School Forensic team's speech and debate tournament held on Martin Luther King (MLK) weekend. Through the years she enjoyed her children's participation and success in this activity and continued to attend and support the event even after her son and daughter had graduated from the High School. Unfortunately this year the familiar figure was missing at the event. A few days prior to the Forensics tournament Margie lost her battle to Multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease, where there is irreversible deterioration of the nerves in the body. The immune system of MS patients starts attacking and eating away the myelin, which is the protective sheath around the nerves. This in turn hampers the communication between the brain and the nerves which leads to the nerves rotting away. The symptoms vary from patient to patient and in the majority of the cases it causes physical and cognitive disabilities. Multiple Sclerosis is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can come and go, often not appearing for months at a time. There is no cure yet for this disease but treatments are available to manage the symptoms and treat the attacks.

Margie was diagnosed with MS early in her life but her symptoms became pronounced only later on. Though she was physically affected by this illness she never let it define her. She persevered with courage and dignity. Through her children's childhood she attended all their games, tournaments and shows. Her daughter Karen started performing at a young age and starred as a 10 year old in StarStruck's Thumbelina which played at the Broadway West theatre.

Those familiar with this venue will know that this cannot be accessed by people with physical disabilities. However this did not stop Margie from attending the opening and the closing of the play. She slowly went up the stairs, step by step by the back entrance and made it up for the show. Margie continued to attend and participate in all her children's ventures, supporting and cheering their accomplishments. Recently she had traveled Boston to attend her son's graduation from Harvard College. Margie was very close to her husband Kesh and children Mike and Karen. She enjoyed music and a good home cooked meal. Her family describes her as a gentle, straight forward person who befriended everyone she met.

She was always a great admirer of speech and debate, and loved attending the MLK tournament at James Logan High School. The tournament ends with an awards ceremony on the Sunday of the MLK weekend. This year during the awards ceremony Mike and Karen Joshi, alumni of the Forensics program, gave away $2100 in scholarships in their mother Margie's memory. The recipients were the first place winners in 21 categories of competition from high schools across Northern California.

The winners who were awarded this scholarship are:

Policy Debate: Aditya Limaye & Madhu Vijay (Bellarmine College Preparatory)
Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Gordon Allen (Analy High School)
Parliamentary Debate: Benjamin Morris & Keizra Mecklai (Mira Loma High School)
Public Forum Debate: Mihir Bhaskar & Adil Majid (Leland High School)
Dramatic Interp: Dolapo Sangokoya (Clovis North High School)
Humorous Interp: Sarah Khasrovi (Presentation High School)
Duo Interpretation: Jonathan Wu & Brandon Deadwiler (James Logan High School)
Oratorical Interp: Naman Trivedi (Bellarmine College Preparatory)
Thematic Interp: Jane Liu (Gabrielino)
Impromptu: Rylan Schaeffer (Mountain View High School)
Expository: Angela Leung (Gabrielino High School)
Original Oratory: Ethan Loewi (Denver East High School)
Original Advocacy: Deepika Bodapati (Presentation High School)
Original Prose and Poetry: Gary Nielsen (Granite Bay High School)
National Extemporaneous: Vijay Singh (Bellarmine College Preparatory)
International Extemporaneous: John Cherian (Bellarmine College Preparatory)
Congress: Tanay Kothari (Bellarmine College Preparatory)

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