Showcasing A Year of Resilience: Through Betty’s Story

Image of Betty Chan in a SuperWalk t-shirt showing a peace sign.
Betty Chan undertook a personal SuperWalk of meaning across Edmonton, Alberta in September 2020.

Throughout the year, you’ve voiced the importance of showing people with Parkinson’s that they’re not alone, along with the need to fuel meaningful programs and research to help them.

From virtual support groups to letter writing campaigns and our own Lance Letain spending the summer months hosting at home workouts – staff and volunteers were able to adapt programs and services to better support people with Parkinson’s.

Donors adapted too. Overall, revenues were down at Parkinson Canada as they were throughout the charitable sector. However, there were so many who did what they could – sometimes above and beyond – to support the organization.

From a mail program that raised more money than previous years despite the challenges of COVID-19, to many significant and increased gifts given to directly support programs, to event supporters who walked their own way as part of Parkinson Canada SuperWalk. Together, you made a difference this past year.

Meaningful change was made this year and meaningful impact was felt on helping Canadians with Parkinson’s cope with the realities of COVID-19. From our virtual at-home exercise content to the adaptions our volunteers and support groups made to check in on each other throughout the country; together we persevered.

Perhaps no individual story better personifies the collective will to support Canadians with Parkinson’s and to make meaning through a contribution than that of Betty Chan who undertook a personal SuperWalk of meaning this past September.

Betty first joined SuperWalk in 2016 in honour of her father who was diagnosed in 2013. She now continues to participate in his memory, with hopes that research helps future generations. With the Edmonton walk unable to take place in 2020 as planned, she put together her own route through the downtown core filled with meaningful milestones that helped her remember her dad.

“A cure for Parkinson’s has not been found in my Dad’s lifetime, but it is my hope that it will be found in my lifetime,” she says.  “A huge thanks to Parkinson Canada for all of the work that they did this year.  Their ‘Walk in the Box’ provided me with some great ideas to capitalize on, as I only decided my route a few days before the SuperWalk… It has turned out to be one of the highlights of 2020.”

Betty’s SuperWalk with Super-meaning is a tangible expression of what we’ve seen throughout the year in so many different ways.

Like Betty, we all had to take things into our own hands in 2020. Through it all, you’ve adapted and persevered and your support has allowed Parkinson Canada to do the same.

We’re proud to count you as a reader of Parkinson Post and a member of our Parkinson Community. Most of all, to those living with Parkinson’s who continue to be a beacon of strength in a challenging time, thank you. We will celebrate meaningful impact together in 2021.

The journey, in Betty’s own words

  1. I watched the online Opening Ceremony from my car. I parked across the street from the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. My original plan was to watch from my office. I was running late, so this was my Plan B.
  1. I started this year’s SuperWalk at my then office building — the ATB Financial Building.
  1. I walked east down Jasper Avenue (past the old location of the Blue Willow) to its current location. My Dad worked here for many years of his life. My Mom always said that I was a lucky girl, as his tips started rolling in after I was born.
  1. From there, I visited the Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre — where my Dad spent the last couple of years of his life.
  1. While there, I remembered his time at Edmonton Chinese Seniors Lodge (next door) — where my Dad lived before he went into long-term care.
  1. And followed by visiting his prior residence, The Chinese Elders Mansion — where my Dad lived when he moved from our Delwood house.
  1. For my final stop, I visited his Church: the Chinese United Church.

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