(NC)—One in 300 Canadians has Parkinson’s and many of them are turning to Parkinson Society Canada and its regional partners for help. People like June Hunt from Newfoundland whose husband, Ray, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1988; Alberta’s Ian McConnell who first experienced symptoms in his early 40s, and Shirin Hirji, a Quebec resident, who started having difficulty writing when she was 43.
June had to find out everything about the disease so she sought advice from health care professionals and people at the Parkinson Society Canada office in St. John’s. With their help, she organized and now chairs a local support group and is a Board Member of Parkinson Society Newfoundland & Labrador. Her philosophy: “Don’t be negative. Nurture your friends. Prepare for the future but don’t dwell on it.” Seven years ago, Ian went to The Parkinson’s Society of Alberta for information and joined a support group. He got involved as a leader to get a special speech group off the ground and participates in super walk for Parkinson’s, Parkinson Society Canada’s national fund raising event. He says: “Never, ever give up. Retain a sense of humor. Keep fighting and hoping!” After she was diagnosed, Shirin (who immigrated from Pakistan) didn’t know much about Parkinson’s and had no family here to turn to. She called Parkinson Society Quebec who provided her with information and advice. She attends weekly Parkinson exercise classes, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee of Parkinson Post, the national magazine for Canadians living with Parkinson’s. “I want to be involved, learn as much as I can and perhaps find more answers.”
Parkinson’s, a progressive, neurodegenerative disease for which there is currently no cure, affects nearly 100,000 Canadians. You can help people affected by Parkinson’s – like June, Ian and Shirin. More information is available from Parkinson Society Canada at 1-800-565-3000 or www.parkinson.ca.