WALK-IT Walkers: Niki’s Story

“There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of how Parkinson’s has impacted our lives” shares Niki. “Our mother was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 2011 at the age of 68. She spent her life as a registered nurse dedicating her time to care for others. When she became sick, it was our turn to take care of her. She passed away in March.”

This year, Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario is starting two new Walk-it for Parkinson’s events, one of them in Tillsonburg. Niki and her family have joined together to form their team to walk in support of people living with Parkinson’s. “This event is new to us and to our community. We are hoping that it will be a huge success and will be the first of many more to come,” Niki explains.

The theme of this year’s walk, “Who will you walk it for?” will encourage people like Niki and her family to share the impact of Parkinson’s in their lives and why participating in WALK-IT for Parkinson’s is so

important to them.

Niki shared that “it was such a heartbreaking experience to hear that your loved one has this disease.” And for so many others, this is the reason we walk. “This is our first year doing this walk and we are super excited to be part of such an amazing organization,” says Niki. “Our family team which includes our Dad, my brother’s family and my family (10 people in total) will be raising funds in memory of our Mom at WALK-IT for Parkinson’s”.

Niki and her family, like many others, know the hardships that come with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. They understand the value of being a part of a greater community that gets involved to encourage and support not just people with Parkinson’s, but also their families and caregivers. “People need to know what resources are available to them and where they can go for help. These events bring about that awareness and information to the community for everyone who is or knows someone struggling with

this disease,” shares Niki. “Fundraising events that are organized like this walk, ensure that everyone will have the support they need.  From community support meetings to on-line information, there is always help within reach.”

Niki and her family are looking forward to walking with their friends, family and community this September. “[Mom was] such a strong-willed woman, [she had] a lot of fight and a positive attitude to get on with life and not let this disease get the best of her.  There were a lot of days of struggles and sadness, but they made the ‘good’ days even better and more memorable,” Niki recalls.

“Family and support are so important when someone is going through such a great struggle and for us, participating in this walk is a way to help others fight this disease,” Niki shares. So join Niki and her family this September at WALK-IT for Parkinson’s, to be a part of the community around you who are there to help and support you.

This event is a fun way to get your friends and family together and enjoy the day! “We’re planning to have some shirts made with our team name “Chicken Fingers”. If you see us walking, make sure to ask us why we chose that name!”

“Our Mom loved to take walks and she would be so happy to see everyone walking and having a great time!”