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When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast: Parkinson SuperWalk

The first SuperWalk was put on by a small group of volunteers in Toronto in 1990. This year, 82 events involving 10,000 participants were held across Canada. Angie Mellen / Global News

This is a special Extra Dosage bonus episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s. Full episodes will be released every other Wednesday. In between, my co-host Niki Reitmayer and I will share new information, original interviews and extra material that provide more context on topics raised in previous episodes of the podcast. We’ll also answer your questions. Feel free to write us at parkinsonspod@curiouscast.ca.

In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, follow along as our team and my 10-year-old son, Henry, go door to door in our neighbourhood to help raise funds for Parkinson Canada. Henry’s efforts contributed $160 to the team.

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Organizations like Parkinson Canada are privately funded. They receive no government dollars and rely on individual donations to maintain their programs and advocacy.

The SuperWalk was started in 1990 by a small group of volunteers in Toronto who decided to walk up Yonge Street to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease. They called it the “SuperWalk” due to the long distance.

WATCH: Parkinson Superwalk at Meewasin Park North on Sept. 8

This year, Parkinson Canada held more than 82 SuperWalks across Canada with 10,000 participants and exceeded its goal of raising more than $2.4 million.

While that seems like a great amount of funding, Jon Collins, associate director of events and partnerships for Parkinson Canada, says: “The reality is with 25 Canadians diagnosed every day, with our population aging and [the number of people with] Parkinson’s expected to double by 2031, we are anticipating growing needs.”

After my diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease, my first call was to the Parkinson Society British Columbia. They were quick to offer information on support groups and mailed a packet of brochures, handouts and relevant information that immediately made me feel less anxious and more informed. That is why each year, my family raises money and walks in the Parkinson SuperWalk in Vancouver.

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Parkinson’s IQ + You

I want to thank the great people in Atlanta, Ga., for their hospitality as the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s IQ + You blew through town earlier this month. Each of the Parkinson’s IQ + You events will be highlighted in upcoming Extra Dosage episodes. If you live in the United States, I hope to see you soon! These day-long, empowering educational events for people with Parkinson’s and their care partners are free. See the full schedule and register for free here.

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 — Anaheim, Calif.

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 — Phoenix, Ariz.

Other dates recently announced in south Florida; Chicago, Ill.; Oakland, Calif.; and Houston, Texas.

If you have a comment or question about the podcast, you can email us: parkinsonspod@curiouscast.ca.

 We invite you to add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here: https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons.

Follow me, Larry Gifford 

Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

Instagram: @parkinsonspod

Follow co-host and producer Niki Reitmayer

Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer

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Special thanks to:

Andrew Davenport, chairman of the board of the Parkinson Society British Columbia

Caroline Wiggins, senior co-ordinator of education and support services for Parkinson Society British Columbia

Jon Collins, associate director of events and partnerships for Parkinson Canada

Henry Gifford

Our generous neighbours

My loving wife, Rebecca Gifford

For more info on our presenting partner Parkinson Canada, head to http://www.parkinson.ca/, phone its toll-free hotline at 1-800-565-3000 or follow the organization on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada.

Thanks also to our content and promotional partners:

Parkinson’s IQ + You — a free series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation

Spotlight YOPD — the only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness of young onset Parkinson’s disease

When Life Gives You Parkinson’s was selected as one of Apple’s best podcasts of 2018

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