‘Step up for Parkinsons’ on Sept. 9th

Annual fundraising walk starts out from the Golden Circle

Join local walkers at the Golden Circle Senior Centre on Sept. 9th as they support the Parkinson Association of Alberta via the Sixth Annual Flexxaire Parkinson Step ‘n Stride.

Registration is at 9 a.m. The walk kicks off at 10 a.m.

“Our fund development team works very closely with our client services team to pull off nine walks across the province on one weekend,” said Dacey Cooper-Varga, fund development manager with the Parkinson Association of Alberta.

“This is our sixth annual Flexxaire Parkinson Step ‘n Stride walk. In Red Deer, our goal is to raise $25,000.”

There is also a challenge that has been put out to Lethbridge – as a similar sized city – to see who can raise the most, she said.

“We have a very passionate committee that has been working to put this all together. We have also partnered with the Golden Circle Senior Centre.

“It’s free to register (for the walk), so anyone can come out and take part in the event. When they register online, they will be sent a fundraising link to help us raise awareness and dollars towards the goal.

“Registration is at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m. and we go from the Golden Circle to Barrett Park,” she said, adding there are 1km, 3km and 5km routes that participants can choose from.

As the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease has no known cause or cure, according to the Association.

It is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder characterized by both motor and non-motor symptoms.

Motor symptoms most commonly include resting tremor, muscle rigidity and slowness of motion while non-motor symptoms include (but are not limited to) depression, deterioration of the voice, pain and difficulties sleeping and swallowing.

According to the Association, management of symptoms becomes the focus of PD and it involves a team of healthcare professionals.

“The typical person with Parkinson may have a family physician, neurologist or movement disorder specialist, pharmacist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, social worker/psychologist, speech and language pathologist, and dietician working with them.

“There are many drug- and therapy-based treatments used to control symptoms of PD and slow their progression to improve an individual’s quality of life. Surgery, including the implantation of a deep brain stimulator, can be helpful for some.”

Meanwhile, Parkinson Association of Alberta is dedicated to making every day better for Albertans affected by Parkinson disease.

“We provide support, programs, education and advocacy to over 10,000 Albertans living with Parkinson disease and their families; as well as contributing valuable funds to research vital for a brighter tomorrow.”

The Association also relies on the generosity of its donors – 100 per cent of the money raised in Alberta stays in the province to fund services, resources and research.

The Flexxaire Parkinson Step ‘n Stride is the Association’s largest annual province-wide fundraising event.

Last year, the event raised more than $400,000 for Albertans living with and affected by Parkinson’s.

“The wonderful thing about the Parkinson Association of Alberta is that all of the funds raised in Alberta stay in Alberta. And when it comes to our walk specifically, the funds raised in Red Deer will stay in that regions,” she said.

For more information to donate or register visit http://parkinsonassociation.ca/stepnstride

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