April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and Parkinson Society Saskatchewan (PSS) is presenting two major events to inspire people from around the province to learn more about the kinds of supports and resources available to those living with or caring for someone with this progressive neurodegenerative disease.
PSS’s mandate encompasses four pillars of service: research, advocacy, education, and support. The non-profit organization is a proud member of Parkinson Society Canada and has been assisting individuals and families around the province since 1972. To find out more about Parkinson’s disease and services available in your area, please call 1-888-685-0059 or visit www.parkinsonsaskatchewan.ca.
Parkinson’s directly affects more than 4,000 people in Saskatchewan and over 100,000 men and women across Canada. No cure for Parkinson’s disease is currently available. Disease progression is person-specific and all individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s work with a diverse health care team to design personalized treatment and rehabilitative programs. Symptoms characteristic of Parkinson’s include shaking or tremors, stiffness, slowed movement, impaired balance, soft speech, stooped posture, sleep disturbances, and depression and other cognitive changes.
PSS will host the 2nd annual Parkinson Connections conference on Saturday, April 26th at Saskatoon’s Sheraton Cavalier hotel. Parkinson Connections is an interactive, one-day conference designed to educate over 150 attendees about the various facets and implications of life with Parkinson’s disease. A series of break-out sessions, formal presentations, and networking opportunities all cater to the event’s overarching theme: “a better life, a brighter future.” This year’s keynote address will be provided by Dr. Soania Mathur, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 27 while pregnant with her first child.
“The conference brings people together,” says Travis Low, Executive Director of Parkinson Society Saskatchewan. “People living with the disease, their care partners, and the general public gather to learn from field experts, share their own experiences, and unite in the fight against Parkinson’s.”
Sponsorship opportunities and conference tickets ($40.00 each) are still available. Those interested in attending or sponsoring can contact the PSS office directly or visit their website (www.parkinsonsaskatchewan.ca) for more information.
In the spirit of Parkinson’s awareness, PSS will launch its first ever “Don’t Park Parkinson’s” event in Regina. Volunteers from the Regina Parkinson’s Chapter will be stationed at the Cornwall Centre from 9:30am – 3:30am on Wednesday, April 16th and Thursday, April 17th and at the Victoria Square Mall on Saturday, April 19th. They will be selling bundles of fresh tulips, the official symbol of Parkinson’s disease. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to the Regina Chapter of PSS. Information about Parkinson’s disease and the upcoming Parkinson Connections conference will also be available on site.
“We are proud to kick-start this campaign here at home,” says Low. “It’s a unique way to make our presence physically known and to extend our support and resources to the people and communities we serve.”