IWCA Spotlight: Mary Smigielski

I am an employment attorney. I have been practicing employment law for 25 years, and am a partner and head of employment law in Chicago for Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, which is the 9th largest law firm in the country.

I joined IWCA because my mom has Alzheimer’s. My mom, Mary, was always an adventurous and vibrant woman. She was a nurse, the office manager for my dad’s medical practice, President of the Medical Auxiliary for the State of Wisconsin, and she started a very successful party consulting and coordination business when she was 55 years old. My dad was the love of her life until he died just shy of their 50th wedding anniversary. She was a doting mother of four and grandmother of seven. Nothing made her happier than being a mom; unless is was being a grandmother. She was an amazing mom. She is now 91 years old, and although she holds my hand, she doesn’t know who I am. It is heartbreaking to have witnessed this incredible woman slowly lose herself to Alzheimer’s. It is a cruel disease, and I believe awareness, research and support of family and friends are crucial. The power of this organization is immense and I believe it can truly make a difference.

By: Mary Smigielski

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