Parkinson Canada featured in MacLean’s Patient Access & Empowerment campaign

CEO Dr. Karen Lee among those leading the charge in access to care

The following post appeared in a special issue of MacLean’s magazine, published on December 2, 2020.

Parkinson’s disease is the fastest-growing neurological condition worldwide, and in Canada the rates of Parkinson’s are reported the be the highest in the world. Why? Parkinson Canada is pursuing the answer to this question and solutions to turn this tide.

While Parkinson Canada tackles this unique challenge, we’re providing hope and help to the 100,000 Canadians who live with Parkinson’s. Every hour someone in Canada is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and in just 10 years that number is projected to double.

Parkinson’s is a complex and individual disease with needs that change over time. Access to care is among the greatest challenges faced by people living with Parkinson’s — even before diagnosis. The average wait time for a diagnosis of Parkinson’s in Canada is nearly one year, and in some regions, it’s more than two.

Parkinson Canada is engaging with experts across the country to find ways to improve health system navigation, close gaps in access, and ensure the growing number of people affected by Parkinson’s are getting the right care at the right time.

Read the full article in context or in the September edition of MacLean’s.

Parkinson’s Featured on CBC’s You Can’t Ask That

A preview of a Season 2 Episode 7 of CBC’s You Can’t Ask That, featuring people living with Parkinson’s disease battling sterotypes.

CBC’s You Can’t Ask That is a series designed to confront prejudices and break down taboos in society in an authentic and relatable way. Each episode asks a group of Canadians with different disabilities to respond honestly to the awkward, inappropriate or uncomfortable questions they hear all the time, offering them a platform to speak candidly for themselves.

Season 2 Episode 7 features people living with Parkinson’s disease battling stereotypes. Watch Canadians living with Parkinson’s answering the tough questions online now via CBC Gem or live on November 20 across the network at 8:30 ET.

Watch now

MacLean’s: If You Live with Parkinson’s Disease, You are Not Alone

The following post appeared in a special insert to MacLean’s magazine, published on September 17, 2020.

Nobody should have to navigate Parkinson’s disease alone. Blake Bell shares his journey with Parkinson’s, from diagnosis to how he thrives today.

Receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is tough. I remember when I went to my doctor and he told me, “You need to see a neurologist.” So, I got an appointment— and he told me I had Parkinson’s disease.

They were words that I wasn’t prepared to hear. At the time I was a 50-year-old business owner of a thriving construction company.

I thought, “It happens to other people. It can’t happen to me.” And that’s how I spent the first few years: in denial. I was having a hard time adjusting to my symptoms and I withdrew from many normal activities, isolating myself and feeling alone.

After a few years I reached out for support through Parkinson Canada. Sharing and speaking with people that were going through the same experiences that I was helped me come to terms with my new life.

Read the full article in context on or in the September edition of MacLean’s.

Parkinson Canada and McKesson Canada to Bring Personal Touch to SuperWalk Supporters

TORONTO, September 11, 2020 – This year marks the 30th anniversary of Parkinson Canada SuperWalk, an annual event that allows thousands of Canadians to come together and walk in support of people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Due to the new social and fundraising landscape shaped by Covid-19, the 30th anniversary will be different this year.

Since the campaign launched in May, participants took part in months of exercise-focused “mini-campaigns” designed to keep supporters engaged and people living with Parkinson’s moving. Resources were shared throughout the spring and summer with a target of supporting achievement of 150 minutes of activity each week, in accordance with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology’s guidelines.

With a summer’s worth of activity behind them, sights are being set on a live, online opening ceremony on Saturday, September 12th with a series of neighbourhood and bubble walks to follow.

To support those local walks, Parkinson Canada has made Walk in a Box kits available to download and as a personal touch, will be mailing kits directly to households in time for them to support participants in SuperWalk Your Way on September 12.

“A big part of SuperWalk has always been creating a sense of togetherness among participants. This year, it’s important for us to offer the same connectivity to something larger than oneself and provide the opportunity to make personal meaning through the Walk despite limitations on public gatherings. We’re proud to be sending some warmth into our walkers’ homes at a time while they may be feeling disconnected,” says Amanda Stanton, Interim Lead, Events and Partnerships.

To support this endeavour, Parkinson Canada is leaning on walk sponsors. Burnbrae Farms has returned for the 15th straight year to show solidarity with Canadians with Parkinson’s and McKesson Canada has sponsored the Walk in a Box program to make sure that SuperWalk supporters can celebrate meaningfully.

McKesson was a natural partner for this project, as a Canadian company at the forefront of healthcare transformation. This includes a new initiative between McKesson-partner pharmacies, and Catalyst Healthcare, aimed at improving quality of care for Canadians with Parkinson’s.

“In 2017 the first Canadian—a grandfather with Parkinson’s disease—welcomed our ‘spencer’ medication dispenser featuring McKesson pouch packaging, into his home. Since then we have been proudly working with amazing pharmacists, caregivers, and patients to help medications be taken as prescribed. Catalyst and McKesson Canada are excited to sponsor Parkinson Canada SuperWalk, which embodies the goal of living well with Parkinson’s,” shared Shane Bishop, CEO of Catalyst.

Parkinson Canada SuperWalk will take place Saturday, September 12th with families across the country using their “Walk in a Box” kits to follow an 11:00 AM ET live online opening ceremony.

Parkinson Canada is almost exclusively funded by private donations, and SuperWalk plays a major role in the ability to deliver support, service and hope to Canadians with Parkinson’s.

This year, more than ever, the need to stand up to Parkinson’s together is clear. Do your part today—join Canadians who walk together on the path to a world without Parkinson’s: No Matter What.

Registration and details at or 800-565-3000.

About Parkinson Canada

Parkinson Canada is the definitive voice of people with Parkinson’s in Canada and provides services and education to their families, and the healthcare professionals who treat them. Since 1965, the organization advocates on issues that concern the Parkinson’s community in Canada. The Parkinson Canada National Research Program funds innovative research for better treatments and a cure. A national registered charity, Parkinson Canada fulfils its mission through the generosity of donors and is an accredited organization under the Imagine Canada Standards Program since 2013. Parkinson Canada participates in numerous coalitions and partnerships to effectively fulfil its mission.

About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s affects over 100,000 Canadians, a number expected to increase substantially in the coming years, with 25 Canadians diagnosed each day. That means that every hour, of every day, another Canadian hears the words: “You have Parkinson’s disease.” For people newly diagnosed, Parkinson Canada SuperWalk is a great opportunity to meet others living with the disease, their families, and to begin to build a supportive network.

Continued support is needed in order to fund research to find a cure. Since 1981, the generosity of donors including SuperWalk supporters, has enabled Parkinson Canada to invest more than $30 million in over 580 research projects.

Parkinson Canada is a founding partner with Brain Canada, of the Canadian Open Parkinson Network (C-OPN), which gives investigators access to unprecedented data and supports large scale, multidisciplinary research projects that would not be possible at a single research site.

About Parkinson Canada SuperWalk 2020

Parkinson Canada SuperWalk provides the opportunity for participants to raise funds and awareness on behalf of all Canadians living with Parkinson’s. The national sponsor for 2020 is Burnbrae Farms, and the Walk in a Box sponsor is McKesson Canada. Since 1990, SuperWalk has raised more than $40 million, which is invested in communities across Canada to provide services, education and advocacy for people affected by Parkinson’s and for Parkinson’s research into improving treatments and one day, finding a cure.

Sunovion Announces Health Canada Approval of KYNMOBI™ (apomorphine hydrochloride) Soluble Film for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease OFF Episodes

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion) announced today that Health Canada has approved KYNMOBI™ (apomorphine HCI) soluble film for the acute, intermittent treatment of OFF episodes in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). OFF episodes are the re- or worsening of PD symptoms otherwise controlled with oral levodopa/carbidopa. They may be characterized, in part, by tremor, stiffness, slowed movement or other symptoms. These disruptive episodes can occur any time throughout the day and get worse as the disease progresses. KYNMOBI was previously approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 21, 2020.

“As the disease progresses patients with Parkinson’s are faced with challenging and disruptive OFF episodes that come with impaired mobility,” said Karen Lee, PhD, CEO of Parkinson Canada. “Today’s Health Canada approval is an important step forward for people living with Parkinson’s disease, as they now have more options that can help manage the effects of OFF episodes as they occur.”

to read the entire press release, visit

Man with Parkinson’s disease refuses to give up on dream of sailing
July 18, 2019 || CTV News Toronto

As they prepare to set sail, Steve Van Vlaenderen takes his time.

“Physically, I’m a lot slower on the boat so I’m a lot more cautious,” he tells CTV News Toronto.

That’s because he is living with Parkinson’s disease and his motor skills are deteriorating.

Van Vleanderen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease back in 2011.

Riding for a cure
July 15, 2019 || Belleville Intelligencer

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – Cyclists spun their wheels in Prince Edward County this past weekend for a cure at Pedal for Parkinson’s.

Pedal for Parkinson’s is an annual three-day cycling event where participants and donors raise funds to help fight Parkinson’s disease. Since beginning in 2011, the Pedal for Parkinson’s fundraiser originally took place in Parry Sound. Jim Redmond and Krista Simonett have recently taken up the position as the head organizers for the event and 2019 if the first year for it taking place in Prince Edward County.

Michael J Fox Foundation’s Big Strides in Parkinson’s Research: “We are much closer to finding a cure”
November 13, 2018 || YouAreUNLTD Magazine

As the spotlight-seeking keener he portrayed as Alex P. Keaton on the 1980s sitcom Family Ties, Michael J. Fox seared his boyish good looks and infectious energy into the minds and hearts of millions. Today, the 57-year-old is parlaying his enduring popularity into an even greater role – mobilizing patients and researchers to bring an end to Parkinson’s disease, which affects one in 100 people over age 60.

Lows in Motion 2018 – fond farewell to a major Canadian fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease
November 12, 2018 || Parkinson Canada News

On Saturday, November 3rd, the Lows in Motion organizing committee welcomed yet another sellout crowd to Saskatoon’s Prairieland Park to celebrate its 10th – and final – anniversary.

Lows in Motion’s mission has always been twofold: raise funds to support Parkinson Canada, and shed light on what it means to live with Parkinson’s disease. Founded by Travis Low in honour of his grandfather, more than 9,000 people have attended his fundraiser over the years.

We at Parkinson Canada are honoured to be the chosen donor recipient for this event. Since 2009, Lows in Motion has raised an impressive $650,000 in net proceeds for our organization.
Listen to the video prepared by Joyce Gordon, CEO of Parkinson Canada, to acknowledge the dedication of Travis Low, along with all the volunteers who make it happen!

To view the video, click here.