The kindness of strangers: A Giving Tuesday story


Since Rudy Erfle was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s 15 years ago at the age of 48, he’s done his best to stay positive – even though it’s not always easy.  

As Rudy’s Parkinson’s has progressed he has developed balance issues. Falls became more frequent, so he started wearing knee pads – an adaptation he has embraced because it means it’s still possible to live life on his terms.  

Today, Rudy receives support throughout the day for help with simple tasks that would otherwise be difficult to complete. His legs increasingly “freeze up,” which earlier this year caused a fall that landed him in the hospital for months and caused him to lose the function of his right hand.  

The kindness of strangers is a big help. “Because my speech and movements are affected, people are often quick to assist,” says Rudy.  “It makes me feel good and definitely helps with staying positive.” 

Rudy cites his fundraising for Parkinson Canada as a way he has been able to contribute and turn his situation into something purposeful. He has seen first-hand the difference the organization makes in providing access to credible information, support and services — as well as funding promising research that is a source of hope. 

That’s why Rudy is inviting the Parkinson’s community to join him in donating next week on November 28, Giving Tuesday. This internationally-recognized day marks the start of the giving season, and for donors to Parkinson Canada there is an extra reason to give. 

That’s because Lucien Beauchemin, a generous donor living with Parkinson’s, is matching the first $45,000 in donations to Parkinson Canada on Giving Tuesday. In other words, donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar.  

“The more we support Parkinson Canada, the better off those living with Parkinson’s will be,” says Rudy. “This amazing organization helps people with Parkinson’s on all different levels, including contributing to research and providing specialized services to improve daily life for people like me.” 

Rudy’s story shows that a life of purpose is still possible, and staying positive is still possible. Your gift to Parkinson Canada on Giving Tuesday supports him and others in the Parkinson’s community in making these possibilities a reality. 

Get a head start on Giving Tuesday! 

Parkinson Canada is providing early access to its Giving Tuesday donation page, so you can have your gift matched right now.