As the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease continues to meet the predictions that it will double by 2040, a new local group, the Parkinson’s Community Network, (PCN) has responded by partnering with the Perth and District Community Foundation (PDCF) to give individuals and businesses in Lanark Leeds and Grenville (LLG) an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those dealing with this complex disease.
The impetus for this initiative was an anonymous donation given to support the local Parkinson’s community. Being associated with the PDCF makes it possible for donors to be able to receive tax receipts. This year, the PCN has decided to allocate funds to respite services to subsidize much-needed relief for care partners who are often struggling to take care of their loved one.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disease which has no cure. Many people associate it with “old age”. Michael J. Fox, diagnosed at 29 years of age, has not only raised millions of dollars for research into Parkinson’s but is an example of how untrue this is. The average age of diagnosis is 60, with people experiencing symptoms up to 20 years earlier. The disease is now recognized as a very complex one with bio-markers such as REM Sleep Disorder, mental health problems and constipation and symptoms like voice and vision problems, balance issues and loss of smell.
“Already, local businesses and service clubs are stepping up to help. Orchardview, Wills Transfer Inc, Campbell’s Trucking, the Civitan Club of Perth, Bangs Fuels, Home Health Smiths Falls, Publow Advisory Group, Andress Your Independent Grocer, Tom Sullivan Plumbing, Portland Pharmasave, Ogilvie’s Auto & Fleet and Smiths Shoes have already responded to our campaign.” says Pat Evans, who has Parkinson’s and is a member of the PCN. “They recognize the need and want to be part of the solution.” Beverley Bennett, another member of the PCN, whose husband Bob Arnold has Parkinson’s, feels strongly that we need to encourage people to support local needs. “People in Lanark Leeds and Grenville continue to demonstrate that they care about their neighbours and friends. I am confident they will do so again.”
There are 2 ways you can make a donation to the PCN. Cheques are payable to the Perth and District Community Foundation with an indication that the funds be directed to the PCN. You can also make a credit card donation through the PDCF website at www.pdcf.ca. Scroll down to the green DONATE button. That will take you to the Canada Helps website and the Perth and District Community Foundation. Where you see Apply your donation to a fund set up by this charity*, there is a dropdown menu. Scroll down again until you see Parkinson’s Community Network. A tax receipt will be mailed to you when you make a donation with either method.
This year, the SuperWalk is being organized by Parkinson Canada staff and will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at Conlon Farm in Perth. All funds raised through the walk will continue to be administered by Parkinson Canada at the national level.