Parkinson SuperWalk on course

Community heroes will take part in the 19th annual Parkinson SuperWalk Sept. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at Polson Park.

Family, friends and co-workers are teaming up to fight Parkinson’s with a special power – hope.

Community heroes will take part in the 19th annual Parkinson SuperWalk Sept. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at Polson Park.

A strong community is at the heart of Parkinson SuperWalk’s success in Vernon.

Local resident Barb Gullett was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three years ago, but she hasn’t let the disease impact her determined spirit.

Last year, while recovering from a broken hip, she decided to register for SuperWalk. She rode in a wheelchair, pushed by family, and ended up raising more than $2,000!

“Even people that we didn’t know were there,” said Gullett.

“It gave me hope. I loved it and felt very special.”

Friends and family will join Gullett again this year to walk together for a cause that’s dear to them.

“The community support is humbling, to say the least, and wonderful at the same time, to know so many care for you,” said Gullett.

“Many people feel alone with this disease, so I encourage everyone to come and join us, with their loved ones, to show support and build awareness for Parkinson’s.”

Participants can register for the event by visiting www.parkinson.bc.ca.

Rhona Parsons, a fitness health and wellness educator, has taken a special interest in Parkinson’s disease and teaches a twice weekly exercise class specifically for those living with the challenges Parkison’s brings.

“Rhona is an energetic advocate and will once again facilitate the Parkinson SuperWalk,” said local organizer Nel Friesen.

The Vernon event will also feature the Taoist Tai Chi Society, putting on a special demonstration during registration (at 9:30 a.m.) prior to the walk beginning.

There will be items to bid on with a silent auction and the unique sound off of the bagpipe will lead participants into the SuperWalk.

Pre-registration is also available online at www.parkinsonsuperwalk.ca

Participants can register as an individual or as a team and the walk accommodates those who need a walker or wheelchair to participate.

Pledge forms can be picked up at Fitness Maxx (2- 5400 24th St.).

The Vernon Parkinson support group meets at 1 p.m. at the People Place on the third Thursday of the month (with a few exceptions). Because of the SuperWalk, the next meeting will take place Oct. 16.

“Parkinson’s is one of the most common neurological disorders that affect people mainly over the age of 55 with more and more being diagnosed at a younger age,” said Friesen.

“There is no cure. It is a slow, progressive, debilitating disease with some of the characteristics being muscle rigidity, decrease in postural stability and balance, tremors, fatigue and more.”

For more information, questions, or assistance, call Parsons at 250-308-8616 or Friesen at 250-549-1580.