From Vancouver to St. John’s, thousands of Canadians showed their support for the 22nd annual Parkinson SuperWalk, the largest fundraiser for Canadians living with Parkinson’s disease. More than 14,000 walkers, volunteers, donors and sponsors helped raise $3.0 million in 95 communities across Canada.
You’re never too young to be a SuperWalk champion. “As soon as I heard about Parkinson SuperWalk, I knew I had to get involved,” 11-year-old Jenna Sigurdson said.
Jenna’s father Blair was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease earlier this year. Managing Parkinson’s takes more than a team of medical specialists. Blair benefits greatly from the information resources, exercise program and friendships he has gained from his regional Parkinson Society, where he co-founded a Young Onset Parkinson’s support group.
Daughter Jenna’s original fundraising goal was $1,000, but she increased it when donations continued pouring in from generous friends and neighbours. By SuperWalk weekend, Jenna had raised more than $11,500.
“When I participate in Parkinson SuperWalk I feel like I am doing something good, helping others and I feel like I’m making my dad proud of me,” Jenna said. “Not only do I want to raise money to help find a cure for my dad, but I also want other people with Parkinson’s to have the same kind of support he has.”
At Parkinson SuperWalk, Jenna proudly walked alongside her father Blair. Also there to cheer on The Young Onsets team, Jenna’s mother Karren, brother Tyler and dog Ruby.
The Sigurdsons were one of many families at this year’s SuperWalk with a canine companion. This year saw the launch of the Pets for Parkinson’s contest. The contest challenged Canadians to show support for the walk by submitting photos of their pets demonstrating enthusiasm for the Parkinson’s cause. Pets for Parkinson’s was a huge success thanks to many Canadians who shared adorable photos of their cats and dogs wearing SuperWalk T-shirts. The contest helped raise awareness about SuperWalk and Parkinson’s disease in Canada.
“For many people, their pet is an integral member of the family, and every year we have a large number of canine companions who attend Parkinson SuperWalk to show their support. We think this is a great way to have some fun and get more pets (and their families) involved in the cause,” said Joyce Gordon, Parkinson Society Canada President and CEO.
Proceeds from Parkinson SuperWalk help fund the valuable educational resources, support services, advocacy efforts and research provided by Parkinson Society Canada regional partners across Canada to individuals and families like the Sigurdsons.
Parkinson Society Canada acknowledges the generosity of Parkinson SuperWalk national sponsors: Teva Canada Innovation, Naturegg and Roots.
Online donations for Parkinson SuperWalk will be accepted until October 2, 2012 at parkinsonsuperwalk.ca.