Right now, families in every province and territory are facing unacceptably long wait times to see Parkinson’s-specific healthcare providers. The system needs an overhaul and to do that, more funding is required.
After a year of hearing more than 100 first-hand accounts of the struggles that result from such a strained medical system, we set forth on one of the largest advocacy campaigns in our organization’s history.
Cue, a letter-writing campaign
Recognizing that there’s a critical problem regarding a lack of access to Parkinson’s care across Canada, we launched a campaign that helped you automatically send a letter directly to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Canada’s Minister of Health, asking for increased funding for Parkinson’s care.
The message? That it’s still possible to live an incredible life after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but only when you have access to the care that you need. Together, the government and organizations like Parkinson Canada can help create a country where every person impacted by Parkinson’s can thrive.
Despite the standard increases to the Canada Health Transfer and one-time COVID-specific health funding, the support is not targeted towards care that addresses the unmet needs of those affected by Parkinson’s. As the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Canada is expected to grow from 30 a day to 50 a day in less than a decade, reaching our leaders in a tangible and quantifiable way – to show them just how many Canadians feel that added support must be made a priority in our country – is an important way we can help make positive change.
Power in numbers – more than 5,200 to be exact
There is power in numbers. And numbers are something the Parkinson’s community across Canada has, with more than 100,000 Canadians currently living with Parkinson’s and many others impacted as Parkinson’s care partners. Last month, our community came together to send more than 5,200 letters of support to the federal government.
Parkinson Canada CEO, Karen Lee, PhD., expresses the deepest gratitude for this community’s ability to rally behind a cause that impacts their everyday lives. “I am blown away by how the community has come together to send the message, loud and clear, that thriving is absolutely still possible when you’re living with Parkinson’s – but only when you can access the care you need,” says Karen. “There is still so much work to do, but for today I hope you’ll join me in taking a deep breath and celebrating how powerful our Parkinson’s community can be when we work together.”
There is still time to join the campaign by sending a letter to show your support for the Parkinson’s community and echo the concerns of the 5,200+ others who have already sent theirs.
Living well is still possible
Initiatives like this one are a cornerstone of our advocacy work. Parkinson Canada is committed to raising the voices of Canadians impacted by Parkinson’s, with the hope of creating lasting change in the access to care this community requires. Change at this level takes time, dedication, and a powerful community voice; While we continue to advocate on behalf of all those living with Parkinson’s, we will also continue to extend support to Canadians impacted by Parkinson’s.
Through Parkinson Canada’s educational resources, monthly webinars, virtual and in-person support groups, and wellness partners that promote a healthy and active lifestyle, Canadians impacted by Parkinson’s can still shape a life filled with the possibilities they always imagined.
Our generous donors help make these resources available year after year, and we are truly grateful for their continued support in making living well still possible for those impacted by Parkinson’s.