Lace up your runners and grab a friend — registration is now open for Parkinson SuperWalk. The 3rd annual event takes place on Saturday, September 7, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in Invermere’s Pothole Park.
Organizations, businesses, families and friends will walk together and enjoy the triumph of teamwork while raising critical funds for Parkinson’s research, support services and education. Participants can register by visiting www.parkinson.bc.ca.
SuperWalk is the largest national fundraising event for Parkinson’s disease and, this September, 95 communities across Canada and 18 communities throughout B.C. (Burnaby, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Cranbrook, Duncan, Elk Valley, Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nelson, Parksville, Pitt Meadows, Prince George, Salmon Arm, Surrey, Vancouver, Vernon and Invermere) will join the fight to find a cure. In communities with no organized walk, supporters can get involved by registering as a virtual walker. In B.C., the goal is to beat the 2012 fundraising record of $595,000. Nationwide, the aim is to raise $3.3 million.
Resident Grace Sander organizes SuperWalk Invermere and is at the heart of the event’s success.
“In our first year, we had 24 walkers who raised $3,000. The next year, 36 walkers raised more than $7,000. This year, we hope to raise $14,000. We need lots of walkers and lots of pledges!” said Ms. Sander.
Proceeds from SuperWalk go to research and support services provided by Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC).
Last year alone, PSBC funded two local researchers, hosted a regional conference and Young Onset seminar, delivered clinician training and community lectures to more than 400 people across the province, added five new support groups (bringing the current total to 53), and spoke one-on-one to more than 1,700 individuals seeking information.
Parkinson’s is the second most common degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that 11,000 British Columbians and more than 100,000 Canadians live with the disease.
It is cruel and unforgiving causing tremors, rigidity, postural instability, difficulty talking, walking and swallowing, reduced facial expression, and in some cases, depression and dementia. It can strike anyone — women and men of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles. There is currently no known cure. Established in 1969, Parkinson Society British Columbia is a not-for-profit charitable organization that exists to address the personal and social consequences of Parkinson’s disease.
Contributed by Laura Darch