Pedaling for Parkinson’s and Hope

July 13th-15th, 2018 in Parry Sound, ON

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David Newall and Peter Istvan
Founders of Pedaling for Parkinson’s

When the duo started the ride in 2011, Peter and David said the hope was to raise $100,000 and never did they expect to reach a cumulative total of over $1 million. This gave Pedaling for Parkinson’s the distinction of being the first community fundraising event in Canada to raise more than $1 million for Parkinson Canada.

In 2011, friends Peter Istvan and David Newall founded Pedaling for Parkinson’s – an annual cycling fundraising event in support of Parkinson Canada. Pedaling for Parkinson’s spans three days, and cyclists pedal over 100,000 strokes, representing one for each Canadian living with Parkinson’s.

In 2017, Peter and David’s event reached a significant lifetime milestone. Together with riders, volunteers, and sponsors, Pedaling for Parkinson’s surpassed over $1,000,000 dollars raised.

No small feat for a passion project inspired mostly by a close friend of Peter along with David’s father, both of whom were living with Parkinson’s disease. These pedaling heroes, supported by their families and what feels like a community’s worth of volunteers, have helped to fund innovative research projects by some of the brightest minds in Canadian Parkinson’s disease research, through the Parkinson Canada Research Program.

National Volunteer Week promoTo date, they’ve raised funds to support twelve research projects within the Research Program. Projects like those of Dr. Joel Watts, who is a recipient of a Pedaling for Parkinson’s New Investigator Award. Dr. Watts is investigating how specific prion proteins may spread through the brain and he is applying this knowledge to identify the underlying molecular processes of Parkinson’s disease. His work could lead to new therapeutic targets for stopping the spread of Parkinson’s disease. Click here to watch a video message from Dr. Watts on our YouTube channel.

The founders have set out to achieve a lofty goal for the ride in 2018: $500,000. Individual riders and sponsors will be key to keeping this legacy alive, long after this summer’s ride, the last for the Parry Sound location.  Find out more and register online today.


Parkinson Canada offers a wide range of materials to help individuals, families and health professionals learn about Parkinson’s disease. Operating since 1965, Parkinson Canada provides support services and education to the Parkinson’s community, and advocates on issues that concern Parkinson’s patients in Canada.

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