Communities across Canada rallied in support of people living with Parkinson’s and in search of a cure earlier this month. More than 10,000 participants including 4,000 walkers came together to raise $2.35 million. People living with Parkinson’s were joined by family and friends, healthcare professionals, dedicated volunteers, and researchers across the country. Participants and supporters have raised over $40 million since inception.
“We thank each and every SuperWalk participant who continues to raise significant awareness, hope and funds for the Parkinson’s cause,” says Joyce Gordon, CEO, Parkinson Canada. “For those living with Parkinson’s, their caregivers and healthcare professionals, a cure can’t wait.”
Parkinson’s affects over 100,000 Canadians, a number expected to increase substantially in the coming years, with 25 Canadians diagnosed each day. Continued support is needed in order to fund research to find better treatments and a cure. Since 1981, through the generosity of donors including SuperWalk supporters, Parkinson Canada has invested close to $29 million in 552 research projects. Parkinson SuperWalk is one of the ways donors are working to inspire hope and achieve a world without Parkinson’s.
The CN Tower was lit at dusk on September 9 as Parkinson Canada took a moment to shine a light on Everyday Heroes across the country, who showcase the “No Matter What” resiliency and strength of spirit in their daily lives. There is a national award presented each year to celebrate “everyday heroes” whose extraordinary hope fuels SuperWalk in communities across Canada. Family and friend submit nominations and the recipient is chosen from all nominees from across the country.
In 2017, the organization selected Ardyce Glessing of Wadena, Saskatchewan, from over 100 nominees. Ardyce has not let her Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2008 change her life or relationship with family and friends. She reflects, “When someone has Parkinson’s the whole family and everyone who loves them do too. We must not dwell on what we can’t do and be thankful for what we can.”
Joyce Gordon is pleased to announce that the National Hero for 2018 is Pat Evans of Portland, Ontario. “Pat is a strong voice in our Parkinson’s community. Her passion and dedication exemplify the spirit of people living with Parkinson’s. Each day, they overcome so much, and live life to the fullest, no matter what. I’m pleased to honour Pat as the National Hero for Parkinson Canada SuperWalk. These champions make our work possible.”
Since her diagnosis 12 years ago, Pat has met so many people with Parkinson’s and their carepartners who have faced their own “new reality” with courage and determination.
“I have always believed that one person can make a difference but what has kept me going are those who face many more challenges than me with such grace,” says Pat.
“They are the true heroes.”