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 years ago. “I need a walker all the time now, and it’s not very easy,” explained Toni. “I can’t get things done the way I used to because I’m much slower now, but I keep moving because that’s the only way to stay above it.”
As Parkinson’s continued to progress, Toni decided to get involved with the local support group to share her experience with the disease. She likes to keep a positive attitude around her family, as the struggle has been very hard on them. The support group provided a safe space for her and everyone affected by Parkinson’s to talk about their hardships. To her, the little group is fun, supportive and open, and she enjoys spending her free time with the women she’s met there.
This group made joining WALK-IT for Parkinson’s in Strathroy a no-brainer. “We talked about it in the group and everyone encouraged each other to participate or donate,” Toni said. She believes that it’s events like this that make the difference in funding research to find a cure, and encouraging physical activity is very important to the Parkinson’s community.
The Hendrikx family all participated in Strathroy that year, and it was very memorable for Toni. “Reconnecting with friends and family who go out to show their support for all of us is the best part,” she recalled. While she couldn’t participate in the walk herself, she got to experience the togetherness that everyone creates at this event, and at all the other WALK-IT for Parkinson’s across the region.
About WALK-IT for Parkinson’s
WALK-IT for Parkinson’s will take place on September 10, 2017 at the Strathroy and Area Seniors’ Centre. Visit www.walk-it.ca to register and to find more information about Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario.