Parish Percell Grimes - Online Memorial Website

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Parish Grimes
Born in North Carolina
42 years
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October 29, 1963

Born in Rocky Mount, N.C. on October 29, 1963.

Parish Denise Percell Grimes was born in Rocky Mount, N.C., and raised in Woodlawn and Catonsville,MD. Mrs. Grimes graduated from Woodlawn Senior High School in 1981. Her mother, Joyce Percell, taught in Baltimore County public schools; her father, Tharmon Percell, is retired from the Baltimore Police Department.


October 2, 2004

Do You Believe In Second Chances?


Parish Denise Percell Grimes

 is searching for a matched Donor

who can offer her a second chance at life.


Sponsored by:  Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church

“Marrow For Parish”


Date: Saturday, October 2, 2004                 Date: Saturday, October 9, 2004  

Time: 10:00A.M. - 6:00P.M.                            Time: 12:00A.M. – 4:00P.M.

    Place: Collington Station Clubhouse         Place: Greater Mount Nebo AME Church

   375 Johnsberg Lane                                                    Mitchellville    Road

                    Bowie, MD 20721                                                           Bowie, MD 20716

(301) 249-2969 (Club House)                                           (301) 249-7545 (Church)



For additional donor and marrow drive information,

Please call 1-800-MARROW-2


Parish was born in 1963 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and

grew up in Baltimore County, Maryland.

She is the daughter of Joyce Whitaker Percell

and Tharmon Percell, Sr. of Baltimore, Maryland.

She graduated from Woodlawn Senior High School in 1981.

Parish earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications

from Norfolk State University in 1985.

She has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc since 1983.

Parish is also a very active member of the

Norfolk State University Alumni Association.

She has been a member of the Greater Mount Nebo AME Church,

located in Bowie, Maryland since 2002.


Parish and her husband Gregory reside in Bowie, Maryland.

They have three beautiful children, Paige 10, Grant 4, and Garrett 2 years old.

January 25, 2005

D.C. Region Needs Bone Marrow Donors

Patient Explains Her Plight

POSTED: 2:33 pm EST January 26, 2005
UPDATED: 7:04 pm EST January 26, 2005


Each year, thousands of people need bone marrow transplants to treat life-threatening diseases, but finding a donor is not easy.

Parish Grimes has been looking for a bone marrow donor for months. "There's no donor. Although we've been searching for a donor, we have yet to find a donor," Grimes said.


Last year, she was diagnosed with a form of cancer called multiple myeloma and her doctor told her that she would need a transplant.

 She's not alone. Thousands of people need bone marrow transplants each year.


"The benefits of transplantation span a range of cancers, and we are learning more and more about how to apply those benefits to a range of people so the need to get bone marrow donors is incredible," said Dr. John McKnight, an oncologist at Washington Hospital Center.


Grimes initially looked to her family for a donor, but no one was a match.

 "Less than 30 percent of patients who need a donor have a donor within the family," said Dr. Vera Malkovska, the director of Hematology at Washington Hospital Center.


Grimes turned to the National Marrow donor Program Registry, which has registered more than five million donors, but didn't find a match there either. She then organized two bone marrow drives.

"When I held my drive, people came out and they indicated they had never heard about the need for registered donors," Grimes said.


And one of the greatest needs is for minority donors.

 "It is more likely to be a match if someone is from the same ethnic and racial group, if the donor is of the same ethnic and racial group as the recipient," Malkovska said.


Grimes hopes more people will consider becoming a bone marrow donor.

 "You could save someone's life, and I think that is an important thing for all of us," Grimes said.




March 27, 2006

At the age of 42-years old Parish Denise Grimes passed away from Multiple Myeloma on March 27.

Grimes is survived by husband Gregory Grimes, sons Grant and Garrett and daughter Paige. Grimes had a long and prestigious career as a benefits specialist with Hodge, Hart and Schleifer Inc. until 2005 when her illness with Multiple Myeloma made it difficult to pursue her career. In 1999 Parish married her life-long companion Gregory. Parish was a resident of Bowie for 10 years and joined the Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church, where she was reborn in Christ. Parish Grimes was born Oct. 29 1963 in Rocky Mount, N.C.

The funeral services were held on Saturday, at 9:30 a.m. at Greater Mt Nebo AME Church at 1001 Old Mitchellville Road in Bowie.

April 3, 2006

Parish D. Grimes, 42, Benefits Specialist

By Laura McCandlish, The Baltimore Sun

Apr. 3--Parish Denise Grimes, a benefits specialist in the insurance industry who organized bone marrow drives in the African-American community, died March 27 of multiple myeloma at her father's home in Baltimore. She was 42.

Born in Rocky Mount, N.C., and raised in Woodlawn and Catonsville, Mrs. Grimes graduated from Woodlawn Senior High School in 1981. Her mother, Joyce Percell, taught in Baltimore County public schools; her father, Tharmon Percell, is retired from the Baltimore Police Department.

"When Denise's sister first introduced me to her, I thought she was just another friend," said Sherrie "Tina" Sims, who graduated with Mrs. Grimes from Woodlawn, where the two were cheerleaders. "But we lasted forever."

In 1985, Mrs. Grimes graduated from Norfolk State University with a degree in mass communications. There, she pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha and later became a charter member in that sorority's Washington chapter. At Norfolk State, Mrs. Grimes was also voted "Ms. Senior," in charge of public relations for her graduating class.


After college, Mrs. Grimes began working for Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Washington. The bulk of her career was spent at Hodge, Hart & Schleifer Inc., an insurance agency in Montgomery County, where she worked as an accounts executive until she retired in 2005, after being diagnosed with cancer.

Mrs. Grimes met her future husband, Gregory O. Grimes, while a student at Norfolk State. The pair remained close but didn't marry until 1999. They settled in Bowie. A previous marriage, to Craig Smith in 1990, ended in divorce.

When diagnosed two years ago with multiple myeloma, a rare form of bone marrow cancer, Mrs. Grimes was determined to fight the disease. Though she never found a suitable donor, she organized three bone marrow drives through her church, in her Bowie community and through the International Myeloma Foundation. She encouraged at least 250 African-Americans to register their bone marrow types.

With her cancer temporarily in remission, Mrs. Grimes celebrated her birthday in October with a trip to Chicago with friends to watch a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show. "Everyone's dream is to meet Oprah," Mrs. Sims said. "She was still sick, but you couldn't tell, other than that her hair was very short from chemo. She always had had long, pretty hair."

Mrs. Grimes was devoted to her three children and loved spending summer vacations in Virginia Beach with the family.

Funeral services were held Saturday at Greater Mount Nebo AME Church in Bowie, where Mrs. Grimes was an active member.

In addition to her husband, mother and father, survivors are her stepmother, Leslie Percell of Baltimore; a brother, Tharmon Percell Jr. of Pikesville; two sons, Grant A. Grimes and Garrett A. Grimes of Bowie; a daughter, Paige I.N. Smith of Bowie; four aunts; three uncles; and three nephews.


Copyright (c) 2006, The Baltimore Sun

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.


Source: The Baltimore Sun, Maryland


March 27, 2007

Parish Denise Percell Grimes

lost her courageous fight against Multiple Myeloma on March 27, 2006 .

In her memory, we urge all African Americans to give

someone a second chance at life.


“ I have learned so much about Multiple Myeloma since being

diagnosed in February 2004.

I never realized how critically important tissue and organ

donations are to our society. I never imagined

being told that the quality of my life or my survival would depend on the blood running through another’s body.

The need for tissue and organ donors is great.

I am only one, but there are thousands who are in need of

a donor’s help. I sincerely thank you for your help. May God bless you.




Myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow that attacks and destroys bones.

Myeloma affects nearly 100,000 people in the United States with

approximately 1,000new patients diagnosed each month worldwide. Myeloma, more common in men, is exceedingly rare in children, teenagers, and young adults., peak incidences occurring in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Myeloma

is more common in African-Americans.




The first step to becoming a donor is to join the NMDP.

Volunteers must be between the ages of 18-60 and in good health.

After completing a brief health questionnaire, a small blood sample is collected and you are added to the register.

For more information about marrow donation and a center nearest you, please visit


Everyone is welcome, however there is a need for more minority donors.

A person is more likely to find a suitable donor within his or her ethnic community.

The most likely match is a sibling, however, 70% of patients will not find a family match.Each year, thousands of patients are diagnosed with life threatening blood diseases.To survive, these patients need stem cells to help their bodies make new healthy marrow.

The friends of Parish are committed to  increasing

the number of registered people of all races and ethnic backgrounds.

March 28, 2007

The   Parish  Grimes Ivy Leaf Scholarship Fund

This endowment, named in memory of

Parish Percell Grimes,

 was established to assist undergraduate women of

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

The recipients, shall be known as Ivy Scholars, and will be selected on the basis of community service,

good academic standings with

Norfolk State University,

and a member of


The                              DE

 Delta Epsilon Chapter                               


 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.




Your endowment gift to the fund is a permanent legacy that perpetuates the memory of Parish , while at the same time, assuring continuing support to Norfolk State University to fulfill it’s mission to provide an affordable high quality education for an ethnically and culturally diverse population, equipping them with the capability to become productive citizens who continuously contribute to a global and rapidly changing society.”

Parish Grimes Ivy Leaf Scholarship Fund » Donate Online

May the legacy Continue…