In 2000, Fran Gordon’s husband, Alan, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Although the diagnosis was suspected as early as 1993, the news was still shocking for both Fran and Alan. Together their journey with the life altering disease continuously changes with each day. They are thankful for Alan’s slow progression as it has allowed them time to cope with the changes as they come.
Up until three years ago, Parkinson’s did not affect Fran’s daily life. More recently, as progression has set in, Fran has started to help Alan with more of his daily activities. Although sometimes stressful, Fran remains positive. She thanks Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and the Day-Away program for the services which help both Fran and Alan to maintain a good quality of life. “These programs are wonderful. Alan absolutely loves spending the day in Port Elgin and looks forward to his twice-weekly visits. CCAC have also been great. I’ve been able to bring in a worker during the day twice per week, so I am able to remain involved with my physical activity at the local YMCA.”
Fran and Alan acknowledge the importance of regular physical activity. Although he is no longer able to participate in the VON Smart Exercise program, Fran and Alan have made it a priority to remain active. Fran and Alan make their quarter-mile walk each day to the local bridge and back home again. It is an activity they are able to enjoy together. “As long as you can physically exercise, you should,” said Fran.
Fran also emphasizes the importance of the walk, as it raises funds for Parkinson’s research and support services for people with Parkinson’s and their families. “We look forward to raising funds each year for an important and meaningful cause. For our 60th anniversary, we asked for donations instead of gifts. We were able to raise $1,300! The support we receive from friends and family has been enormous. It’s what keeps us going, and brings us back year after year.”
About WALK-IT for Parkinson’s – Owen Sound
WALK-IT for Parkinson’s will take place on September 10th, 2017 at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound. Visit www.walk-it.ca to register and to find more information about Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario.