It takes a community to support a person living with Parkinson’s and search for a cure; from family and friends to healthcare professionals and from dedicated volunteers to researchers. Across the country more than 10,000 of these everyday heroes will once again don their super hero gear to participate in the 26th annual Parkinson SuperWalk, taking place from coast to coast on September 10 and 11.
Thousands more Canadians will sponsor walkers in support of Canadians living with Parkinson’s, raising funds for support services, education, advocacy and research. Two everyday heroes participating again this year will be Brian Hawryluk and his wife Michelle. Brian, a retired music teacher and still a performing keyboardist with the Blackboard Blues Band, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s six years ago when he was 54. Last summer he was invited to perform with David O’Hearn at a meeting of the Parkinson Canada support group in Mississauga. He became a regular member of the support group and last year participated in his first SuperWalk as part of the Mississauga Wilkinson Warriors SuperWalk team. The team placed first in Canada among the fundraising teams of 2015, raising more than $45,000.
“The team was incredible and they raised a phenomenal amount of money,” says Brian. “And the money raised helps to fund many support groups like ours, and research into better treatments and a cure for this disease.”
Last fall Brian attended a research event featuring presentations by some of the researchers funded by Parkinson Canada’s National Research Program and was able to see how his fundraising efforts are being used to invest in help and hope.
“While some of it was beyond me, they were inspirational as they explained how their work may lead to better treatments to improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s and advance our knowledge towards a cure,” says Brian.
The first-hand contact with researchers meant Brian was very receptive when he was asked to participate in a clinical study being conducted at the movement disorders clinic where he receives treatment. He is now taking part in a three-year ONDRI (Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative) study.
You can join Brian and the rest of the Mississauga Wilkinson Warriors and become an everyday hero, inspiring hope for Canadians living with Parkinson’s as well as their families and care givers. Register today for a fun, family outing with a special purpose. Or contact Parkinson Canada at 1-800-565-3000 for details on a SuperWalk location near you.