Rais­ing money for Parkin­son’s

Sec­ond an­nual Su­perWalk fundraiser dance set for Syd­ney Mines

Cape Breton Post - - Northside/ Cape Breton - SER­VICE BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com Twitter: @CBPost_Jeremy

Mia Pat­ter­son never ex­pected to hear that her mother had been di­ag­nosed with Parkin­son’s dis­ease.

“When she told us I was a bit ner­vous and wor­ried,” said Pat­ter­son. “The ma­jor­ity of my broth­ers and sis­ters are liv­ing away and they were wor­ried more than my father and I be­cause they didn’t know how it was af­fect­ing her.”

Mia MacDonald of Leitches Creek was 71 years old when she was di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease.

Shortly af­ter her di­ag­noses, MacDonald joined the Cape Breton East Parkin­son’s group and be­gan at­tend­ing monthly meet­ings.

“I started at­tend­ing the meet­ings with her be­cause it ed­u­cated me too,” said Pat­ter­son. “She tries to make ev­ery meet­ing and she learns so much there.”

Through the meet­ings, Pat­ter­son heard about an an­nual fundraiser held each year in sup­port of Parkin­son’s Canada known as the Su­perWalk where money raised is used for sup­port ser­vices, re­search, ad­vo­cacy and ed­u­ca­tion.

“My mother wanted to cre­ate a team to raise money for the walk, but be­cause a lot of my fam­ily are away and not able to help, I thought it would be kind of hard with her Parkin­son’s to go knock­ing door-todoor to try to raise funds,” said Pat­ter­son.

With that in mind, Pat­ter­son and her father came up with the idea of hav­ing a fundraiser dance in sup­port of her mother’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to raise money for the ini­tia­tive, which quickly be­came a suc­cess in 2016.

The sec­ond an­nual Su­perWalk fundraiser dance will take place on Satur­day from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Syd­ney Mines.

“It will get big­ger and big­ger each year when peo­ple be­come more aware of it,” said Pat­ter­son. “We al­ways try to hold the fundraiser be­fore Sept. 9-10 (the dates of the Su­perWalk), we get to raise money that can be do­nated and mom doesn’t have to go out door-to-door.”

This year’s en­ter­tain­ment will in­clude Bob MacDonald and The Crew. Tick­ets are $5 each with pro­ceeds do­nated to Parkin­son’s Canada. Mean­while, money raised through in-house do­na­tions, in­clud­ing an even split and toonie toss, will be do­nated to the Cape Breton branch.

“There are a lot of peo­ple in Cape Breton who have Parkin­son’s dis­ease and a few of them are go­ing to be com­ing to the dance,” said Pat­ter­son. “They don’t nec­es­sar­ily go to the meet­ings, so to have them come out it also brings aware­ness for peo­ple who are di­ag­nosed.

“When you’re first di­ag­nosed with some­thing you re­ally don’t know what you have avail­able to you.”

Parkin­son’s dis­ease is a longterm de­gen­er­a­tive dis­or­der of the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem that mainly af­fects the motor sys­tem. The symp­toms tend to come on slowly over time.

Most com­mon symp­toms in­clude tremors, slow­ness and stiff­ness, im­paired bal­ance and

rigid­ity of the mus­cles. Other symp­toms in­clude fa­tigue, soft speech, prob­lems with hand­writ­ing, stooped pos­ture, con­sti­pa­tion and sleep dis­tur­bances.

To­day, MacDonald, 75, con­tin­ues to be ac­tive in her com­mu­nity and doesn’t let the dis­ease con­trol her life, said her daugh­ter.

Last year the fundraiser raised $1,200 with $900 go­ing to Parkin­son’s Canada for re­search and $300 to the lo­cal chap­ter.

This year, Pat­ter­son said the goal is to raise $2,000 for the cause.

“It’s go­ing to be a good time with good friends and good en­ter­tain­ment — ev­ery­one is wel­come to at­tend,” she said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO/MIA PAT­TER­SON

Mia Pat­ter­son, right, stands with her mother, Mia MacDonald. Pat­ter­son is host­ing the sec­ond an­nual Su­perWalk fundraiser dance in sup­port of Parkin­son’s Canada and her mother, who was di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease at age 71.

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