Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2015, Steven has been an active member of the young-onset Parkinson’s community and in the broader Parkinson’s community, particularly in maintaining his athletic rigour.
In the years following his diagnosis, Steven came to recognize the insufficient tools and facilities to assist younger and relatively able-bodied people living with Parkinson’s. After this discovery, he set a personal life goal to help improve representation of those individuals and their needs.
In 2018, Steven co-founded the “Rigid Riders”, which drew from his years of cycling experience and his deep enthusiasm for the sport. He worked to create a supportive and nurturing community of people living with Parkinson’s, supporters and coaches. Weekly rides are held during each spring and summer and the group participates in the Peddling for Parkinson’s event. Despite the restrictions from COVID-19, there was an immediate demand for the group and the inaugural team of 40, quickly rose to 60 and counting. The group has worked with Parkinson Canada from the inception and has an excellent working relationship with the organization.
What motivates you to be a part of the Council?
I’d like to work with Parkinson Canada to create some services and facilities that don’t yet exist in Canada, but which could really improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s.
What is a key message that you think people living with Parkinson’s or care partners need to hear?
You are not alone. There are supportive people who know what you are going through and are eager to meet you.
What part of Parkinson Canada’s work are you most passionate about (i.e., research, advocacy, support, etc.) and why?
I am most passionate about supporting physical and mental health, because I believe that disease-altering therapies are coming, and we must remain in our best possible physical and mental state to benefit.