Parkinson Society Canada

Parkinson Society Canada

September 10, 2008 14:16 ET

Teen Runs 265 Kilometres to Raise Funds for Grandmother With Parkinson's Disease

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2008) - When 18 year old Luke McIver set out from Surrey, PEI on August 14th, he was determined to raise money for Parkinson's. His grandmother, 78 year old Martha Perry had been living with Parkinson's disease for over 10 years and Luke wanted to do something to help. The first year student and soccer enthusiast at University of Prince Edward Island said he watched his grandfather die with Parkinson's and this was reason enough for him to get moving.

And move he did. Over the course of five days (August 14th to 18th) he ran from one end of PEI to the other, covering 65 kilometres a day. With friends and family joining in for different parts of the journey, Luke had lots of support. Soccer team mates joined in and local barbeques along the way helped him raise over $8,000.

"Not enough people know what Parkinson's is," says Luke. "No one knows the cause or cure. I wanted to help make progress toward both." Luke plans to present a cheque to Parkinson Society Maritime Region at this Saturday's SuperWalk for Parkinson's in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

During September, over 12,000 Canadians will come out to support Parkinson Society Canada's 19th annual SuperWalk for Parkinson's in 80 locations across the country. "We are delighted with the support of all our participants but Luke McIver is truly a special individual and an inspiration to us all," said Parkinson Society Canada President & CEO Joyce Gordon.

"It's important to come out to show your support and to show that you care about people with Parkinson's," says Luke. The youngest of three, Luke plans a degree and career in Psychology.

To register or to find out more, visit www.superwalk.com or call 1-800-565-3000.

With a goal of $2.5 million, SuperWalk is the largest national fundraising event for Parkinson Society Canada. This year's total will bring the total dollars raised over a five year period to more than $10 million for research, education, advocacy and support for people living with Parkinson's.

Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disease. When cells in the brain that normally produce a chemical called "dopamine" die, symptoms of Parkinson's appear. The most common symptoms are: tremors or shaking, slowness in movements, muscle stiffness and problems with balance. Other symptoms may also occur for some people, such as fatigue, difficulties with speech and writing, sleep disorders, depression and cognitive changes.

For over 40 years, Parkinson Society Canada (PSC) has been the national voice of people living with Parkinson's disease. PSC has 230 chapters and support groups.

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