Parkinson's: Celebrate victory over adversity

On Saturday, Sept. 10 in Waterfront Park, Kelowna will host the second annual Parkinson SuperWalk to raise funds for a cure and support services provided by Parkinson Society British Columbia.

The society assists individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease across the province.

The Parkinson SuperWalk is the society’s largest and most important fundraising national event of the year and takes place in 90 communities across Canada, 11 of which are in B.C. including Kelowna.

The goals are to raise $325,000 in B.C. and $3 million nationally.

Kelowna SuperWalk organizer Wendy Olinger, who lives with Parkinson’s disease, organized the first walk here last year, which raised $50,000.

“I expected that only 20 people would show up but 300 joined us at the park,” Olinger said.

“It was incredible and I was overwhelmed by the support of the community.”

The Parkinson SuperWalk is considered a celebration of life and victory over adversity.  Participants view this event as a “family affair” and show up to celebrate their personal heroes, like Bob Thompson.

A long–time Kelowna resident, Thompson, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s six years ago.

Since then, he has dedicated his skills, knowledge and energy to people living with Parkinson’s.

He is currently the president of the Kelowna Parkinson’s Support Group and sits on the PSBC board.

“My career spans 30 years as a professional productivity coach, trainer and public speaker” Thompson said. “I may have Parkinson’s, but it doesn’t have me.

“I continue to coach businesses and play golf as much as my energy allows.”


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