Raising money for Parkinson’s
Second annual SuperWalk fundraiser dance set for Sydney Mines
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.
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.