In the same way that the experience of living with Parkinson’s is different for everyone, the way individuals seek to make a difference to the future of those living with it is unique, too.
This month, we highlight the remarkable fundraising campaign of one of our top 10 fundraisers in Parkinson Canada’s Fundraising Your Way.
Fundraising Your Way is an event program developed in recognition of the many ways people who are passionate about a world without Parkinson’s are choosing to make their mark in support of Parkinson Canada.
Robert (Rob) Slater is an Ottawa resident who, on , set an ambitious goal for an auspicious occasion.
Rob’s fundraising page describes his motivation, “Inspired by my friend Jacques Gerin, who is a long-time fundraiser and advocate for Parkinson’s, I have chosen to complement his efforts with a walk of my own benefiting Parkinson Canada… I plan to reach my goal on my eightieth birthday, .”
We caught up with Rob recently, and he shared his thoughts on meeting this challenge over the last year, starting with the inspiration for the walk.
“Jacques mentioned to me that he has found it progressively more difficult to do the behind the scenes organizing. And with this double-digit birthday coming up, I thought perhaps I should try and fill in – so that’s how it started,” says Rob.
How did Rob approach the challenge of walking 2,000 kilometres in a year, and where did he do it?
“I didn’t walk every day, but when I did, I put in around 10 kilometres. And sometimes, when I lost track of time and was deep in thought, I would find that by the end I had walked 15 or more kilometres. I live in Ottawa, which is a very green city with wonderful walking and cycling paths. I live near the Rideau Canal, the Rideau River, and the Experimental Farm, which has a wonderful botanical garden and Arboretum. These are all beautiful places to walk.”
Rob was grateful that last winter was fairly benign in Ottawa, though he had to put up the occasional minus 30 degrees Celsius walks. “That concentrates the mind, I can tell you.”
He found walking in the sweltering summer days to be even more of a challenge, but he never lost sight of his goal.
Thanks to his commitment and effort, Rob was able to exceed his fundraising goal of $4,000, raising a total of $5,592 to date. We are certain that his friend Jacques is grateful for Rob’s efforts on his behalf, and Rob should be very proud of achieving his eightieth birthday goal. We wish him a (slightly belated) birthday and thank him for his efforts!
Parkinson Canada values the support of event organizers and community fundraisers across the country who dedicate their time and energy to supporting our mission. The Fundraising Your Way online platform allows you to have your impact in whatever way works for you. If you’d like to learn more, visit Parkinson Canada Fundraising Your Way.