Evelyn and Alice Nelson are very familiar with Parkinson’s. When they noticed slight but gradual changes in the behaviour and demeanor of their father, Dave Nelson, they knew something was up; even his sense of smell was affected. It all culminated in a diagnosis of early onset Parkinson’s in 2020. This came as a shock to the sisters, as their father had been incredibly active and healthy. In fact, he previously played competitive rugby, was inducted into the McMaster Hall of Fame, and had maintained a very active lifestyle. Dave was the last person they expected to receive this diagnosis.
After learning more about Parkinson’s and looking to support their father, Evelyn and Alice knew they wanted to participate in any way they could. This is how they learned about Parkinson Canada and Pedaling for Parkinson’s.
Recognizing the importance of raising awareness and funds, Evelyn and Alice eagerly joined the organizing committee of the Pedaling for Parkinson’s event. They dedicated their time and energy, actively contributing to the event’s success. Their shared commitment to finding a cure and enhancing the lives of people like their dad motivated them to get involved and volunteer.
Pedaling for Parkinson’s offers more than just a bike ride; it brings people together, providing a platform to share experiences and connect with others facing similar challenges. It creates an inclusive and supportive environment that embraces all participants, regardless of their level of cycling experience.
Evelyn and Alice both signed up for the 100km ride, and Alice shared a memorable experience from the event where a bystander helped her overcome a challenging leg of the journey, offering encouragement and support. This heartwarming incident embodies the spirit of Pedaling for Parkinson’s, where participants come together as a community, offering support and motivation to one another. It is these moments of connection that make the event truly empowering, reminding everyone that we’re all in this together.
In Evelyn’s own words “This event is great because it reminds us that we aren’t alone and we’re not the only ones affected by this. These are real people and seeing everyone coming together is so neat.”
Alice added, “While the 100km race was very challenging, it was just an afternoon. It is small compared to what people with Parkinson’s experience all the time. It is the least I can do to build awareness for such an amazing cause.”
Evelyn and Alice Nelson’s involvement in the Pedaling for Parkinson’s event exemplifies the power of community, compassion, and determination. Their personal connection to Parkinson’s disease and their commitment to supporting their father has been a driving force in their efforts. As for Dave, he is thriving. He’s stayed active and plays racquet sports daily. He also participated in pedaling for Parkinson’s as a volunteer at a hydration station for cyclists and is thankful for all the support he’s received.