Parkinson SuperWalk – First time on West Island
by John Symon – mtltimes.ca
Parkinson Canada Quebec (PCQ) is organizing its first annual SuperWalk on Montreal’s West Island on September 11. The venue is in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue on the Macdonald and John Abbott College campuses. Such walks are the single most important national awareness and fundraising event for Parkinson Canada, a registered charity dedicated to helping the lives of those afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease.
“We hope to raise money through pledges from this walk,” explains PCQ organizer Lisa Mintz. “But just getting people out to raise awareness and create a community feeling is already a big victory.”
Two circuits have been organized, one of 1km and another of 3km, both on paved walks around the two campuses. Mintz describes the circuits as “easy” and “wheelchair-friendly”; she is hoping to see up to 200 participants at the inaugural 2016 SuperWalk. Paula Hawa, Mayor of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, will take part in the walk and local companies are lining up to sponsor the event.
Although this is the first annual edition of the Parkinson SuperWalk in Montreal, SuperWalks have been held annually in other parts of Canada, in some cases since 1990. Across Canada, some $2.7 million was raised from SuperWalks in 2015. These monies were used for support services, research, advocacy and education.
disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that can respond well to medication and therapy. An estimated 25,000 Quebecers are living with Parkinson’s disease; one in five of them is younger than 50 years old. More than half require formal or informal assistance for their daily living activities. Health care professionals from a dozen specialties look after the several motor and non-motor symptoms of the disease. The number of Quebecers with Parkinson’s is expected to double in the next 15 years.
PCQ also recently initiated two patient support groups: one in Cote-des-Neiges and another in Dollard-des-Ormeaux (DDO), primarily addressing an English-speaking clientele.