April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

The City of New Westminster has proclaimed April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month and the new Parkinson’s wellness centre in Sapperton has some special announcements, workshops and events planned. Starting with a new name, IMPACT Parkinson’s, and website launching on World Parkinson’s Day, April 11 (www.impactparkinsons.com) plus receiving their Incorporated Non-Profit Society status.

IMPACT Parkinson’s was created to make an IMPACT on the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s, and their families and friends, by offering programs that focus on mind, body + soul. It is the first of its kind in BC where they offer a variety of Parkinson’s specific programs all in one location – from exercise and socio-cultural activities to speech language therapy and special workshops and events. “Like Parkinson’s, our fighters are complex – so our programs take a progressive approach by focusing on merging mind, body and soul to drive a happy, healthier life.” says Founder, Robyn Murrell. “Clients come from as far away as Chilliwack to access our programs as there are no Parkinson specific programs east of Surrey.”

Workshops include Urban Poling on Friday, April 12 from 1:00-2:30 pm where participants will learn about all the amazing benefits of using ACTIVATOR Poles for Parkinson’s and how to effectively use the poles. And Creative Dance for PD, Latin Style! on Saturday, April 27 from 1:00-2:15 pm. This workshop will be led by Trina Frometa, an award-winning Venezuelan choreographer who draws inspiration from visual art, language, poetry, contemporary music and nature for the creation of her work. She has earned worldwide recognition through over 50 acclaimed international choreographic presentations in countries around the world. Ms. Frometa is also a Certified Teacher of the Dance for PD Program in New York. Both workshops are by donation.

The public is also welcome to attend a special event on Wednesday, April 17 from 9:45am to 10:30am. The centre is hosting Walter Reich, a retired, 70 year old cycling enthusiast from Magnetawan, Ontario who is cycling across Canada to bring awareness and raise funds for those living with Parkinson’s and those family members and friends supporting them through their journey. Walters wife, Regula, has two family members with Parkinson’s and she will be following Walter in their RV. Walters 8,000-kilometre ride will bring him to Newfoundland, where he will dip his front wheel in the Atlantic Ocean. His fundraising page is https://www.gofundme.com/walter-and-giant.

IMPACT Parkinson’s has also formed two new community partnerships with local businesses. One with Amaranthus, a new plant based, feel good restaurant built from the root up opening soon at River Market in New Westminster. “I am excited about our partnership with IMPACT” says restaurant owner Alejandro Diaz. “My mother in law suffers from Parkinson’s and the aha moment for me was when I got to meet one of my childhood heroes a few months ago at my first restaurant el Santo. When Marty McFly aka Micheal J Fox came into the restaurant, I didn’t recognize him at first. It wasn’t until he was seated and having dinner with his mum that I made the connection. I have seen how my mother in law has changed over the years and it was also a life changing moment to see Michael. I immediately contacted IMPACT to see how I could help.” Plans are in the works to create more awareness about the disease such as including a menu item at Amaranthus where a monetary portion goes to IMPACT Parkinson’s as well as doing an annual fundraising event with proceeds going to the centre to help with Parkinson’s specific programs.

Another partnership is happening with Choices Markets who partners with local organizations to enhance communities, environment and the world. Nutrition Consultant, Wendy Wells, at Choices at the Crest in Burnaby says “We are excited to collaborate with IMPACT Parkinson’s to offer educational information sessions plus hands on tips for healthy eating and cooking.” Details of the sessions will be announced soon.

One more exciting announcement is that Murrell is extending IMPACT Parkinson’s core program, Rock Steady Boxing New West, to the Fraser Valley. “I am excited to be able to help more people living with Parkinson’s by bringing ROCK STEADY BOXING ABBOTSFORD & FRASER VALLEY to Abbotsford in April 2019! I’ve seen first hand how this program benefits people fighting back against the disease in more ways than one.” ROCK STEADY BOXING improves the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s through a non-contact boxing-based fitness curriculum. It is an accredited international Parkinson’s specific boxing program that has been researched and scientifically proven to help slow down the progression of the disease. Forced intense exercise like non-contact boxing has also helps to maintain balance, strength, mobility and activities of daily living. Boxers condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents. Rock Steady Boxing is recognized by Parkinson Society BC. Classes will be held at Matsqui Recreation Centre, 3106 Clearbrook Rd, Abbotsford on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:15pm to 2:15pm. Contact Murrell to register abbotsfordfraser@rsbaffiliate.com.

While most people have heard of Parkinson’s disease, the breadth of symptoms experienced and ripple effect the disease has on friends, family and the healthcare system is lesser understood. Furthermore, with approximately 13,000 people in BC affected by the condition, making it the second most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s, the disease receives considerably less attention. Parkinson’s Awareness Month is an opportunity to engage the public in expanding their understanding of the disease, and the diversity of our community. (Parkinson Society British Columbia.)

For more information or to register for any of the programs, contact parkinsonswc@gmail.com or 604-525-2631

We can help you IMPACT Parkinson's - MIND, BODY + SOUL