Parkinson’s Walk raises money and awareness by Tammy Schneider

On Sept. 8, at 2 p.m., people will gather at North Shore Park in Port Elgin to walk, run, bike, skate and offer support during the Walk-it for Parkinson’s annual fundraiser.
In that crowd, you will find Gary Dale, a top fundraiser for the organization who was himself diagnosed with Parkinson ’s disease four and a half years ago.
Dale is a career police officer, having served in Toronto, Hanover and in Port Elgin before taking retirement in 2010. A mild tremor in his right hand motivated him to contact his doctor, and eventually, after seeing a neurologist in Guelph, he received his diagnosis.
A simplified description of Parkinson’s disease is that it occurs when brain cells responsible for making dopamine no longer function, or die. This lack of dopamine can cause tremors, stiffness, balance problems and other physical symptoms. Each person, and each gender, experience different symptoms and the progression of the disease is unique, according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Dale decided early on to do whatever he could to slow down the progression of the disease, and remains positive and active.
“The key to it is staying active – walking, swimming or biking,” said Dale. “I have a bit of a balance problem but I can compensate for that. I consider myself very lucky.”
This is Dale’s second year participating in the walk, which will take him along the lakeshore to Miramichi Bay Road and back to North Shore Park. He plans to walk the longest route of five kilometres.
“I have Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s doesn’t have me,” said Dale. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself – keep fit and get out. Boxing, dancing and yoga are especially good. And if you can’t walk, donate.”
As this article is published, Dale has raised approximately $2,300, putting him in the position as lead fundraiser so far. To support him, or anyone else walking this year, visit the website and click on the walker or team you wish to sponsor.

Parkinson’s Walk raises money and awareness by Tammy Schneider was last modified: August 21st, 2019 by Tammy Schneider

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