Ken Squires on Reaching Out and Living Well with Parkinson’s

Ken Squires

As a business leader in the manufacturing sector, Ken Squires was used to doing his own problem solving. “Figuring things out on my own and providing solutions for others,” was Ken’s management style throughout his successful career.

The active retiree, who still has a knack for establishing relationships with people, went to see a neurologist in , when he realized he couldn’t cut meat with a knife or get his right hand to wash his left arm.

“I said I’d been doing some reading and I thought it was Parkinson’s,” he recalls. “And over time it became evident that the diagnosis was correct.”

His children and grandchildren were upset, but Ken exhibited the composure and level-headedness that have been his usual approach to life.

“My attitude is these are the cards you are dealt. You just get up every day and keep going.”

Ken’s steadfast and dedicated approach is also evident in his loyal monthly gifts of support and in his plans to make a bequest to Parkinson Canada in his will.

“I’m a realist, not a pessimist, and I believe that we could be in for a ‘slay the dragon’ moment in the not-too-distant future, with the research that is going on. So, I increase my donations as I can because national research networks like the Canadian Open Parkinson Network (C-OPN) are going to lead to a breakthrough, even though it may not be during my time on this earth.”

For the first several years, Ken’s symptoms were mild and didn’t impact his daily life very much. The medications did a good job of controlling his mild tremors. However, in the last two years, his symptoms have progressed.

“So, I just decided to see what Parkinson Canada had to offer,” he says. “I’m trying to get more proactive and tap into whatever resources are out there. In other words, reaching out for help instead of ‘going it alone’ which was the opposite of my general approach to life. That was a change in thinking for me.”

Ken connected with Parkinson Canada’s Information and Referral team member Shannon, who has been providing him with helpful resources for living well with Parkinson’s. Always active, Ken says he has become even more committed to physical exercise, including the bike and treadmill, and he is learning something new all the time.

“Just the other day Shannon provided me with some helpful charts I can fill in on my typical day that will be useful for the next time I visit the neurologist.”

Ken’s spouse Marcelle and his family are very supportive, which contributes to his positive attitude, as does connecting with his friends over the game of golf.

“I ask them what they have to keep in mind when we get on the first tee and they say, ‘Ken has Parkinson’s and it’s going to affect his game,'” he laughs. “I call it my friend ‘Parki’ and it’s a great excuse for me when I happen to make a bad shot.”

Parkinson Canada has partnered with Brain Canada, clinicians, and researchers across the country to create C-OPN, a large-scale, national research network that will dramatically enhance our capacity to uncover the answers and deliver the personalized treatments and services that improve lives.

As Ken says, this kind of research is our best strategy as we move forward to ‘slay the dragon’ of Parkinson’s and we appreciate the loyalty and engagement of our community in helping to undertake this important research.

Learn more about C-OPN and becoming a monthly donor with Parkinson Canada.

Learn more about Parkinson Canada’s Information and Referral team and how they can help you or your loved ones to live well with Parkinson’s.

4 thoughts on “Ken Squires on Reaching Out and Living Well with Parkinson’s”

  1. Ken, you inspired me !!!
    I am like you .. I am my own problem solver, my own picker upper. I look after other people but pretty bad at looking after myself. But keep active.
    Suddenly in the last year, I fell a few times, have become slow in my movements and my walking has changed. Still dont know if it is Parkinson’s or Parkinsonism. I had been in denial but lately have come into acceptance of my situation. I need help!!! From this article, Ken mentioned a Parkinson Canada’s Information and Referral team member. How do I make contact ???

    • Hello Edgar, you can contact Parkinson Canada’s Information and Referral team by email,, or by calling us toll-free at 1-800-565-3000. This service is available Canada-wide, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm ET for people living with Parkinson’s, their care partners, and health care professionals.

  2. I am one of Ken’s golf buddies. I wonder each time we go out, “is this our last game together?” I am positive we will be playing for a few more years. He is always full of humor and life. A good example: sometimes he has a little trouble placing his ball on the tee—he looks at us through his legs and asks “did I tell you guys I have Parkinsons?” We immediately went into reams of laughter. He had self diagnosed himself and it was no surprise to him. Edgar it sounds like you have come to grips with your situation and anyone reading these comments should get the feeling that there IS still more you can do. Don’t give up fellas—you are an inspiration to us all.

  3. I always ask after you Ken, it’s been so long since we have seen you both, We have a dear friend in Mississauga who has Parkinson’s, he too has a good attitude in dealing with it,
    Our Love ? & Prayer’s ? are said daily, Maybe this year we will get to see you & your wonderful Marcelle,
    Much Love, Ed & Wendy xoxo ?


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