Ride. Dance. Walk. Let’s get moving!

Are you or a loved one struggling with Parkinson’s disease?

Fight back with exercise.

So many people with Parkinson’s who cross our path are not deterred by the fact that there is no cure—yet! They embrace the challenge in the same way that they embrace daily life with Parkinson’s: they enquire, they discover and they take charge. That’s how a novel fundraising concept was launched in 2011, with the intent of two friends to cycle 100,000 pedal strokes—one for every Canadian living with Parkinson’s at that time.

Pedaling for Parkinson’s began when founders and good friends, Peter Istvan and David Newall, committed to support Parkinson’s research when David’s dad was diagnosed. The inaugural event included 20 cyclists along with people with Parkinson’s, their care partners, healthcare providers and volunteers. That first year, they raised $18,000.

The event flourished thanks to the support of the local community in Parry Sound, Ontario, with dedicated community members coming together annually in their shared connection to Parkinson’s. The ride has always been a ride with a purpose. Fast forward to the final ride in 2018 and cue the applause. That July, with over 350 cyclists raised an impressive $700,000, bringing the lifetime total to $1.7 million. 

That passion funds and fuels a number of high-calibre research projects.

Jim Redmond, co-founder
Pedaling for Parkinson’s

Little did the cyclists know that among the riders in Parry Sound was another passionate Parkinson’s champion. The torch would be passed and the leader for the 2019 event, taking place in Prince Edward County in July emerged from the pack. Jim Redmond is a high school teacher and volleyball coach from Ottawa, Canada. Jim’s reasons to cycle are very personal: Riding gives me my freedom back. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three years ago when I was 44. Somebody showed me a video about a guy with Parkinson’s and how he could barely walk but could still ride a bike. I immediately went out and bought a second-hand bike and gave it a go. It worked even better than I thought it would.”

Jim and his wife Krista Simonett are launching their inaugural, volunteer-driven event in Prince Edward County, July 12–14, 2019. Register at www.pedalingforparkinsons.ca to join the PEC ride, or to ride your own route as part of the movement. For more information about the ride’s history, starting a ride in your community, or to make a donation in support of the event visit the website.

Enjoy dance more than cycling?

Research indicates that dance too is an effective, complementary therapy for those living with Parkinson’s disease, according to Rachel Bar, researcher and Manager, Health and Research Initiatives, at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto. More than 40 research studies have established its benefits, she says. Bar is presenting her findings and a video on the benefits of dance, at the World Parkinson Congress, taking place in Kyoto, Japan on June 4–7. Parkinson Canada has been a part of some of these studies and will be there in Kyoto to share these findings with others.

In January 2019, Parkinson Canada presented a webinar on the benefits of dance hosted by David Leventhal, an internationally renowned, founding teacher and Program Director for Dance for PD®—a program that has been used as a model for classes in more than 300 communities in 25 countries. David is leading dance classes across Canada this year and Parkinson Canada and Hamilton City Ballet Dance for Parkinson’s, both members of the Dance for Parkinson’s Network, invite you to attend a session led by David, in Hamilton, Ontario on May 17, 2019. Registration opens in April so visit our website often for important updates.

This event is cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Prefer to walk instead of cycle and dance?

Join us for the annual Parkinson Canada SuperWalk, happening at different locations across Canada in September. And hear from this year’s Super Hero, Pat Evans, as she talks about her journey with Parkinson’s—and why she will never give up.

Caregivers and care partners are welcome at all events. Caregiving can be overwhelming at times. Factors like planning for appointments and tracking your communication with various professionals can be crucial, to ensure that you do not become “lost in The System.” Parkinson Canada is launching two comprehensive tools this year to support you in your critical role—ACT on Time—helping you and your loved one manage healthcare information; and Care Partnering, a robust book offering inspiration, facts and toolkits. Look in future issues of eParkinsonPost for release dates and how to request your copies.

We are here to help—no matter what.

Call us at 1 800 565 3000 or email communications@parkinson.ca

Interested in reading more about the research provided by Pedaling for Parkinson’s?