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 hearing about the Parkinson’s walk at the Sarnia-Lambton exercise class and at Support Group meetings, Carolyn and her husband Ron joined the event in 2014. They have had family and friends join them ever since. She says it’s important to participate in order to raise awareness and funds to help those living with Parkinson’s in her community. “I have benefited first-hand from the break-throughs that happen when research dollars are put to work,” said Carolyn. “Also, the walk provides an opportunity for the entire community to honour the memory of those who have passed on and to celebrate the contributions they and their CarePartners made along their journey.”
Carolyn loves the online fundraising tools available to WALK-IT for Parkinson’s participants, as it allows her to involve people who live out of town in the event. “I email friends and family attaching a personal letter giving my reasons for participating in both the fundraising and the walk. After each contribution is made, I record it and send off a personalized thank you,” said Carolyn.
With the 2017 WALK-IT for Parkinson’s events coming up in September, Carolyn can’t wait to participate once again. “I enjoy the social aspect of the event. It provides an occasion to see old friends and acquaintances, while affording the opportunity to make new ones. I find it a very encouraging and positive experience, as you witness first-hand how friends and family come together to share in this journey, all the while demonstrating their love and support. It is this sense of community that brings me back every year.”