A crowd of blue shirts could be seen strolling through downtown Napanee last Wednesday, signifying the second annual Napanee Parkinson’s SuperWalk.
About 10 walkers departed the Napanee Area Community Health Centre that afternoon, making a trip along Dundas Street and then back again. An early count of pledges revealed they had raised $2,274.25, with more money still being totalled.
Money raised will go to Parkinson’s Canada to held fund research as doctors search for a cure. Just as important as the money raised, is the awareness the walk brings around the local Napanee Parkinson’s Support Group, which meets once a month at the NACHC.
“It could be anybody affected by Parkinson’s,” said Penny Robertsons, volunteer facilitator with the Napanee Parkinson’s Support Group. “They could have a relative (with the disease) or they could be a caregiver. As soon as somebody joins the group, they can get all kinds of information from Parkinson’s Canada. They’re great with sending out all kinds of brochures, they have webinars and all kinds of things that people can take advantage of, it’s a very good source of information.”
There’s no fee or obligation involved with joining the group. It’s run as a drop in event which regularly features guest speakers. It’s also a place for families to share their experiences and answer questions from people recently diagnosed with the neurological disease.
“It’s often diagnosed by the GP but people have to go on a waitlist for as long as two years to see a neurologist,” said Robertson. “In the meantime they’re wondering ‘what’s happening with me?’ Some people are put on medication by their GP, others are not and their symptoms are getting worse. Here you can get tips from other members on where to get more services.”
An example of that is how members have noted that those willing to make the trip to Ottawa can often get seen by a doctor much quicker than waiting in Kingston.
Members also discuss different treatments and devices, such as a medical pump that can deliver medication throughout the day into the bloodstream.
“Lots of interesting information can be had by coming here,” said Robertson.
The support group meets the first Wednesday of every month at the NACHC, located at 26 Dundas St. W. at 1:30 p.m.
The Napanee SuperWalk is one of many that will take place throughout Canada during the month of September. Anyone interested in supporting the cause can go to www.SuperWalk.ca.