WALK-IT Walkers: Taoist Tai Chi

Over 90% of those who are regularly doing the gentle movements of Taoist Tai Chi (TTC) have come to it with an issue that needs tending. People dealing with Parkinson’s disease, early Alzheimer disease, cancer, surgery, or injuries from falls and accidents will not find an instant cure or antidote but will learn ways to relieve or solve some of the problems and the stress that come with these issues. By gradually and steadily improving balance, flexibility, leg strength and calmness, everyo... Read More

Volunteer Profile: Wayne Walden

Wayne Walden and his wife, Meg, began volunteering in 1998 in support of their friend, Alan Ward, who was living with Parkinson’s. Alan and his wife, Isabel, were very committed to volunteering for Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario and to creating awareness of Parkinson’s in the Southwestern Ontario community. As a result, Wayne offered to help with the walk in London. The progression of their roles involved being on the London walk committee for several years, followed by running th... Read More

Joe Stammler’s Story

Joe Stammler - Windsor-Essex Every year, the Stammler family gathers for an afternoon in Malden Park to do something they used to take for granted – walking. For Joe Stammler’s father, Herb, and all the others affected by Parkinson’s disease, it’s one of the many aspects in his life that has turned into a big challenge since his diagnosis. In honour of his father, Joe and his family decided to form “Team Stammler” to participate at the walk in Windsor seven yea... Read More

Bill Simmermaker’s Story

Bill Simmermaker - Waterloo Region Unfortunately for Bill Simmermaker of Waterloo, Parkinson’s disease runs in the family. That’s one of the main reasons he started participating in WALK-IT for Parkinson’s. “I have Parkinson’s so that is the number one reason I participate but also because my uncle struggled with it for over 30 years,” he said. “I felt that Parkinson’s didn’t get as much attention as other diseases and that more education of Parkinson’s w... Read More

Toni Hendrikx’s Story

Toni Hendrikx – Strathroy and Area Last year, WALK-IT for Parkinson’s was brought to Strathroy; it was the first ever event to be hosted in the town to support Parkinson’s disease. For a community that had had a Parkinson’s Support Group for over 20 years prior, it was an exciting opportunity to hold their own unique event. It was during last year that Toni Hendrikx started developing worse symptoms for the first time since her Parkinson’s diagnosis over ten yea... Read More

Diana Shelestynsky’s Story

Diana Shelestynsky – Stratford and Area When most people hear their family member has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, they have no idea what to do to support that member. Everyone wants to help, but no one is sure where to start. As a nurse, Diana Shelestynsky of Stratford had a lot of experience to pull from when her husband, Gene Shelestynsky, was diagnosed 6 years ago. She knew that she would play a very important role in supporting him every day. “The co... Read More

Jerrold Beech’s Story

Jerrold Beech - South Grey Bruce and Hanover While a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease has a negative impact in virtually everyone affected by the disease, the impact it had on Jerrold Beech of Paisley was more of a positive one – it made him become an author. Jerrold was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 12 years ago. It meant he had to stop curling with his friends (although new helmet technology may allow him to return), it took longer for him to do things, and he needed ... Read More

Carolyn Young’s Story

Carolyn Young – Sarnia-Lambton Being a two-time cancer survivor, Carolyn Young of Sarnia was ready for a fight when she received her Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2012. She decided to approach her journey with Parkinson’s with the same fighting attitude and sense of positivity that she used to fight cancer. “I try to control what I can with this disease. Otherwise, it will become ‘the boss of me’ and I am too stubborn and determined to allow that,” she said. After... Read More

Pamela Nagle’s Story

Pamela Nagle - Port Elgin, Kincardine and Area A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can certainly slow you down due to the multiple symptoms that those living with Parkinson’s have to deal with every day.  But Shawn Nagle of Port Elgin wasn’t going to let his diagnosis affect him and his boating business, Aqua Manufacturing and Marine.  He and his wife Pamela were doing a great job keeping it afloat since his diagnosis in 2010.  In 2014, all that changed wi... Read More

Henry Veenstra’s Story

Henry Veenstra – Oxford County Parkinson’s disease is not well-known or understood by the majority of Canadians. People don’t usually learn about Parkinson’s until someone close to them has been diagnosed; or, if you are diagnosed yourself.  That’s what happened to Henry Veenstra of Embro. Henry’s life has changed a lot since his diagnosis 7 years ago.  “I tire much more easily and have to watch my balance so I don’t fall, especially on stairs,”... Read More