Lend­ing a help­ing hand

Co­droy Val­ley comes to­gether to show sup­port for Barry Hughes

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANETTE DOOLEY danette@nl.rogers.com

Barry Hughes has a lot of friends in the Co­droy Val­ley.

Last month he and his fam­ily re­al­ized just how many through the sup­port they re­ceived on Jan. 21 when the com­mu­nity hosted a fundrais­ing ben­e­fit for him.

Hughes was di­ag­nosed with Parkin­son’s dis­ease 12 years ago.

The fundraiser held at the St. Kevin’s Cen­tre raised money to help him with his med­i­cal ex­penses.

“There were peo­ple from all the com­mu­ni­ties in the Co­droy Val­ley. We raised $7,000 and there are still do­na­tions com­ing in,” said An­nette O’quinn who helped or­ga­nize the ben­e­fit.

Do­na­tions are still com­ing in, she said, and will likely reach $10,000.

O’Quinn is a fam­ily friend of Barry and his wife Mil­lie.

Parkin­son’s is caused by a de­gen­er­a­tion of the cells which pro­duce dopamine in the brain. The symp­toms of the dis­ease ( which may in­clude shak­ing or tremors, slow move­ment, soft speech, mus­cle stiff­ness, and dif­fi­culty with walk­ing) ap­pear when over half of the dopamine-pro­duc­ing cells are lost.

Barry is orig­i­nally from Green Is­land Cove on the prov­ince’s Great North­ern Penin­sula.

He met Mil­lie while fish­ing in the Co­droy Val­ley. Mil­lie is from the Co­droy Val­ley. It’s where they set­tled and raised their fam­ily.

“Barry was a fish­er­man but he turned car­pen­ter. He did a lot of car­pen­try work for a lot of peo­ple around here. And Mil­lie works at the lo­cal phar­macy,” O’Quinn said.

The symp­toms and pro­gres­sion of Parkin­son’s varies from per­son to per­son.

Barry now uses a walker for mo­bil­ity.

He re­cently trav­elled to a Parkin­son’s clinic in Ot­tawa for treat­ment. He re­turns to the clinic in Au­gust for fol­lowup.

O’Quinn said many peo­ple helped or­ga­nized the ben­e­fit. Patsy Brown­rigg and Kelly Tomp­kins or­ga­nized the lo­cal tal­ent and hosted the fundraiser, she said.

“There were peo­ple with ac­cor­dions and gui­tars. Peo­ple came pre­pared to sing. So we had a full night of lo­cal tal­ent. Peo­ple bought food... it’s was just one big ven­ture amongst every­body,” O’Quinn said.

When con­tacted by phone, Mil­lie – who at­tended the ben­e­fit – said her fam­ily is over­whelmed with the sup­port they have re­ceived from peo­ple through­out the Co­droy Val­ley.

“It was re­ally over­whelm­ing to see the sup­port that we have. Not just the fi­nan­cial but just know­ing how much peo­ple re­ally do care. You don’t re­ally re­al­ize it un­til a time like this,” Mil­lie said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Barry and Mil­lie Hughes with their daugh­ter, Cathy, who lives in Petawawa, On­tario.

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