Making great strides

By Geoff Lee

September 6, 2016 9:29 AM

LAUREN LOOY, client services coordinator for Parkinson Alberta, pictured during Parkinson month in April with her dad, Doug Durovick, who has the disease,, hopes to raise up to $25,000 at the Step 'N Stride walk Sept. 10 at Bud Miller All Seasons Park. All money raised stays in the region to help those affected by Parkinson.

A comfortable pair of walking shoes, a few pledges and some spare time are all that’s needed to participate in the 4th annual Flexxaire Parkinson Step ‘N Stride fundraiser.
More than 100 Lloydminsterites are expected to complete an optional one- or three-km walk around Bud Miller Lake Sept. 10 in support of Parkinson Alberta.
“Our Flexxaire Parkinson Step ‘N Stride actually accounts for about 55 per cent of our event fundraising for the year so it is a key and a critical event for us,” said Brandi La Bonte, spokesperson for Parkinson Alberta.
“It’s also truly a beacon and a chance for the Parkinson community to get together and celebrate the ability to move and to keep moving with Parkinson disease.”
Step ‘N Stride walks in Alberta hope to raise more than the $345,000 from last year’s events.
“Traditionally, Albertans are very generous especially if it’s a good cause like Parkinson disease,” said La Bonte. Parkinson Alberta parted ways with the Parkinson Society of Canada in 2013 with the realization that 22 per cent of revenues went to national causes instead of to Albertans living with the disease.
“All the funds raised in a region stay in the region, so all the funds raised at the Lloydminster walk will stay in the Lloydminster region,” said La Bonte about Parkinson Alberta.
A portion of the funds go toward research.
The Lloydminster walk raised about $27,000 last year, but regional client services coordinator Lauren Loony has lowered the bar to between $20,000-25,000 given the economy.
“I would love to get more than $27,000, but realistically I think we have to be happy with that 20-$25,000,” said Looy.
Funds raised in Lloydminster help provide one on one and direct support home visits and some new programming.
On tap is a planned Yoga program for Parkinson sufferers based on feedback from a program sampler offered during Parkinson Awareness Month in April.
“Yoga was very well received and they showed interest in starting up that program so we are in the midst of trying to get that program up and going,” said Looy.
Lloydminster also has a walking program and a pattern dance program.
Parkinson affects more than 10,000 Albertans and many more people who love and care for them.
People diagnosed with the disease exhibit a range of motor and non motors symptoms that vary from person to person.
“Some of the classic signs would be the tremors, stooped walking, the slowness of movement, stiffness, walking problems,” said Looy.
Those with Parkinson that can’t physically walk can do their part and close out the walk in a ride around Bud Miller lake in a tractor pulled people mover.
Registration is available online at Parkinsonalberta.ca via the Step ‘N Stride link to Lloydminster Region information or people can register by calling Looy at (780) 808-5006.
Looy has lined up several sponsors for the event that will include food for all Step ‘N Stride participants.

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