About 100 people laced up their shoes to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease Saturday.
Sporting red shirts at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, the annual Parkinson Superwalk has raised $9,200 in cash and cheque donations so far. That money is not including online donations which will be calculated later on. Facilitator for the local Prince George Parkinson’s Support Group, Ron Corbett says walking is sometimes the best medicine. “Exercise is one of the most important things for people with Parkinson’s and we really promote that,” he said. “We’re here to raise funds for research, education, and help raise awareness for the disease.”
Parkinson’s disease affects about 13,000 British Columbians and is the second largest neurological disease behind Alzheimer’s. With an initial fundraising goal of $10,000, organizers at the walk say they’re already expecting even more donations to surpass last year’s donation record of $13,000. Some of the money stays in Prince George locally, but a lot of it will go directly to the Parkinson’s Society of BC where by then it goes into further research efforts.
Corbett has a connection to Parkinson’s having lost his father who battled the disease for 10 years before passing away in 2014. “I’ve been involved with the local support group and that’s why I continue to do what I do now,” he said. “If he (my dad) were still here, he would be pretty happy, pretty proud.”
Meanwhile, Crystal Beddome is walking for her dad as well. Beddome’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 10 years ago and started taking medication eight years ago. Now he’s been in the hospital since June 1st and she says she’s walking so no one has to go through this tough experience. “Just the way your body betrays you, to not be able to eat because you shake and the dementia that kicks in sometimes and you’re just not you anymore,” she said. “Today is absolutely amazing and the walks here in Prince George seem to be getting bigger and better each year and my fundraising, it just brings everyone together, for my friends and family.”
To donate to the cause, you can visit parkinsonsuperwalk.ca