Dedicated to Making Lives Better: Carol Brown’s Story

Photo of Carol Brown's name on a bike

Carol Brown dedicated her adult life to helping improve the lives of others, especially children. Soon after her second child was born, she started taking Early Childhood Education courses at a local college. In 1991, eight years after starting her first course and all the while raising her young family, Carol completed her Early Childhood Educator designation. She graduated with honours and was on the Dean’s list. For the next 20 years Carol helped children in daycare centres through her leadership roles with the Parent Co-Operative Preschool Corporation (PCPC). She became an expert in the field and was highly respected.

In her leadership role as a spokesperson and champion for co-operative childcare in Ontario, Carol co-wrote a book on the operation of co-op childcare centres that later became the handbook for centres across the country. She also devoted time to her husband Allen and their children and she rode her bicycle everywhere. It was one of her favourite things to do.

Then, slowly, things started to change in her body. She noticed a tremor in her right hand. Carol knew that something wasn’t right. In 2013, a neurologist confirmed she had Parkinson’s disease.

Fast forward to 2015, Carol and Allen ‘discovered’ the Pedaling for Parkinson’s event and lent their support to the Parry Sound event. Allen later went on to participate in the 2019 and 2020 Pedaling for Parkinson’s events in Prince Edward County. He rode his bicycle with Carol’s name taped to each side of the frame in her memory and as a tribute to his wife’s love of cycling, including memories of riding those same roads together.

Photo of Carol Brown’s husband, Alan, participating in Pedaling for Parkinson’s

In January 2018, Carol was taken to hospital and as her husband Allen said, “her Parkinson’s was catching up to her and she went downhill from then on.” In June she was diagnosed with MSA – Multiple System Atrophy, an atypical form of Parkinson’s. Carol passed away in November 2018.

Reflecting on her life and their 46 years together, Allen said that “Carol loved people and people loved Carol. She always wanted to do more, and to give back to everyone with whom she came in contact.”

Allen Brown takes comfort knowing that Carol’s legacy continues. Carol’s wish to give back came with a gift to Parkinson Canada that she left in her Will, as Parkinson Canada is one of the top charities that the Brown’s supported through the years. That support continues as Allen has declared that he too has left us a gift in his Will. November is national Make a Will Month and the reminder of the importance of planning is all the more relevant in a year where record numbers of Canadians have created or updated a will, according to a CTV story in response to Covid-19 earlier this year. Leaving a gift in your Will is a powerful way to make sure your legacy lives on like Carol’s. Learn more about how to make a bequest and request a free estate planning kit, My Personal Organizer, on Parkinson.ca.

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