Manon Day redefining parkinsons

Manon Day: Redefining Parkinson’s


Manon’s first symptoms appeared when she was only 17 years old. She experienced a range of symptoms including fainting spells, trouble moving, rigidity, bladder dysfunction, and stuttering. Over the years, she consulted several neurologists, but none were able to diagnose her properly. It wasn’t until she was referred to the Montreal Neurological Institute (The Neuro) in 2011 that Dr. Ronald B. Postuma diagnosed her later at the age of 27 with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD). 

As a young woman of colour living with YOPD, Manon chose to become an advocate for the cause. “Parkinson’s is a disease that does not discriminate I felt compelled to raise awareness and fight for the needs of those affected.” 

Manon’s mother has been her number one supporter since her diagnosis. Manon and her mother spend a lot of time together as they are neighbors on the same floor in the apartment building. When Manon is very ill, she calls her mother who is available immediately. “It’s really comforting to have my mother’s support,” says Manon. 

Manon takes her medication on time every day, and Levodopa has helped her tremendously. She has a great positive response and her symptoms are adequately controlled. She couldn’t survive without it. As for her exercise regimen, she does her cardio step daily, walking, stretching, and online PD boxing classes. Through occupational, speech, and physical therapies, Manon has learned valuable techniques and strategies to manage her symptoms and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle while also cultivating a positive outlook on living with Parkinson’s.  

I have been suffering from Parkinson’s since my late teens, and having such a devastating diagnosis at age 27, I couldn’t pursue a career. YOPD has a different set of challenges in the prime of life. In spite of that, I accept it and have adapted myself to this new reality. Awareness is essential to break myths and stereotypes and educate the public. Over the years, I have participated in financial campaigns at the Montreal Neurological Institute, appeared in newspapers, and organizations. I strongly believe that increasing visibility of young patients like myself is very useful to reduce the stigma around Parkinson’s. 

The key for Manon was to never give up, even during her decade-long misdiagnosis and deteriorating physical state. Despite facing disbelief and dehumanization from her experience in the health care system, her persistence ultimately led to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. That period of her life was difficult, but it motivated her to become an advocate, raising awareness and supporting others who may be facing similar challenges. 

“I recognized the need for greater awareness of Parkinson’s. The general population needs to be aware that Parkinson’s can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender. By raising awareness and advocating for the disease, I hope to break myths and stereotypes about Parkinson’s and bring greater understanding to the general population and healthcare system.” 

Manon has been following Parkinson’s research over the years, and she is excited about the recent advancements. One research publication in 2020 about the relationship between the gut and brain.

“Advancements in research is a top priority for patients. Eventually, it will improve the lives and outcomes of patients,” says Manon. 

In Canada, we are fortunate to have a leader in this field, Dr. Silke Appel-Cresswell at UBC Neurology, has done extensive work to expand our understanding of the relationship between gut microbiome and Parkinson’s.  

“Since my diagnosis in 2011, my perception of Parkinson’s remains the same. I make the best out of life and try to find joy in the small things in life. Despite my progressive diagnosis, I accept it and try to remain optimistic, even if sometimes, it can be challenging. I still go on. I educate myself with reliable resources from PD organizations. Getting accurate information is very important. However, I trust and count on Parkinson Canada resources, webinars to stay up to date with knowledge of Parkinson’s.” 

Join Manon in Redefining Parkinson’s. Learn more and how you can make a difference at: