Parkinson Society Canada

Parkinson Society Canada

August 31, 2010 09:00 ET

Newfoundland Sport Fisherman Finds Support Through Parkinson SuperWalk to Battle Everyday Struggles of Living With Parkinson's

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2010) - Imagine waking up one day and not being able to do the things you've done your entire life. This is an everyday reality for more than 100,000 Canadians living with Parkinson's disease. This year, 13,000 walkers are preparing to participate in Parkinson SuperWalk, Parkinson Society Canada's largest annual fundraising event. With a $3 million goal, Parkinson Society Canada can continue to provide education and support to Canadians with Parkinson's and the 400,000 loved ones who are there to fight the every day battle alongside them, until there is a cure for this progressive brain disease.

Newfoundland sport fisherman Wayne Dawe experienced a life altering moment one day as he went to put a worm at the end of his hook. He struggled with it. This was his first experience with Parkinson's prior to his diagnosis at age 54 in 2004. Wayne realized something wasn't right when his left hand began to tremble as he prepared his fishing rod for another day of trouting, something he had done numerous times before. Since being diagnosed, "I have little reminders every day of my Parkinson's; my mornings are slow to start, my wife helps me with my contact lenses, so I don't poke my eye out. It takes me longer to tie my shoelaces and to do up my buttons. Even sipping a glass of water has become a challenge," he says.

With support from his family, Wayne has taken on a positive attitude, speaking openly about his Parkinson's with medical students and setting an example for his son who is pursuing a nursing degree. "I want to show my son that when things get rough you don't fold. Somehow you look within yourself, draw on the resources you have and move forward. You have to keep the faith. I've got Parkinson's, but I am going to make sure it doesn't slow me down without a fight." says Wayne.

Parkinson Society Canada understands that treating this disease involves more than just finding a cure. "Our goal is to be there, every step of the way, providing support for day to day living, education, advocacy and other much needed assistance to Canadians living with Parkinson's, throughout the progression of the disease so that people with Parkinson's can maintain their quality of life," says Joyce Gordon, Parkinson Society Canada President and CEO.

Thanks to an exercise class organized by Parkinson Society Newfoundland & Labrador, Wayne has not only found a way to help with his tremors but also discovered a sense of camaraderie. "It's an opportunity to be with people who are walking the same path as you," describes Wayne.

The Dawes are just one of many Canadian families who participate in programs funded in part by Parkinson SuperWalk. "I participate in the St. John's SuperWalk because I have Parkinson's and believe that it's not an illness to be kept in the closet; it's something my family and I live with everyday," says Wayne.

Parkinson SuperWalk takes place this September in 87 communities across Canada. To register online today for your local SuperWalk and begin fundraising, visit www.parkinsonsuperwalk.ca. For tips and ideas on how to get sponsors, follow Parkinson SuperWalk on Facebook. For more information on Parkinson Society Canada, visit www.parkinson.ca.

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