Ottawa school teacher, Shelby Hayter, has been awarded one of Parkinson Society Canada’s highest honours, the Morton Shulman Award, for her determination and creative spirit in piloting a unique educational program aimed at children in elementary schools and for teaching over 10,000 children what it means to live with Parkinson’s.
In the Pass the Baton program, Shelby, who has Young Onset Parkinson’s disease, shares the stage with a medical professional and a researcher from the University of Ottawa Parkinson’s Research Consortium.
“It is a perfect forum to teach our young audiences that we work as a team and together we can make a difference,” says Shelby.
Through the Pass the Baton and Pounding the Pavement programs, Shelby has raised thousands of dollars for Parkinson’s research. She says, “I feel fortunate to have the time, energy and enthusiasm to be an advocate for a disease which seems to have a quiet voice. Many people are not in a position to be advocates, due to personal situations; but for those who are in a position to help out, like myself, it is an amazing process to realize how one person’s efforts CAN make a difference.”
The Morton Shulman Award is given annually to an individual or organization who, through fearless advocacy and an ability to make change, makes life better for Canadians with Parkinson’s and their families.