Sparwood’s Merl Shelley has been living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) since 2010. Rather than passively accepting his diagnosis, he is inspired to raise funds and awareness for PD.
Shelley recently coordinated a Golf Tournament for Parkinson’s that raised over $6,700. On Saturday, September 9, he will be participating in the Parkinson’s SuperWalk alongside friends and family at the Senior Drop In Centre in Sparwood. Registration for the walk starts at 10 a.m., and the walk starts at 11 a.m. By 1 p.m., the event will be wrapped up.
In addition to the walk, there will also be an auction that follows. This year, over 75 businesses have donated items for the silent auction, which takes place every year after the walk.
Last year, a similar number of items were donated, but only 50 items were claimed due to low attendance at the banquet. Event organizer Terry Hume encourages anyone able to attend and support a great cause.
Prizes such as whitewater rafting, cat-skiing, rounds of golf and even local artwork is auctioned off.
“We just want to get the word out,” he said. “We’ve got some really neat stuff.”
Hume is hoping to raise $10,000 at the event. Last year, they came close to $11,000.
Approximately 13,000 British Columbians and 100,000 Canadians are currently living with Parkinson’s disease (according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Health).
The incidence of Parkinson’s disease is expected to increase 65 per cent by 2031 due to the aging population.
“It’s on the rise,” said Hume. “More people are getting it all the time. So we’re just raising money for research.”
The most common symptoms are tremors (shaking), slowness of movements, muscle stiffness and problems with balance. Others may experience symptoms such as fatigue, difficulties with speech and writing, sleep disorders, depression and cognitive changes.
Most people manage their symptoms through medication or surgical interventions such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).
Other interventions such as a challenging exercise regime and speech therapy can also help.
Many in the Elk Valley suffer from this disease. Everyone is encouraged to attend this worthwhile cause, tomorrow.