Todd Wallace and his mother Karen Sofonoff at the 2015 Parkinson’s Superwalk in Nelson.

April is Parkinson Awareness Month

To help spread awareness, the Parkinson Society of BC is has launched a "This is Parkinson's" campaign. Find out how to get involved.

Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the death of neurons that produce dopamine, a chemical that carries signals between the nerves in the brain and controls movement. It affects over 100,000 Canadians, according to Parkinson Canada, and over 13,300 British Columbians, according to the Parkinson Society of BC.

Todd Wallace, a Salmo resident who works in Castlegar, is one of those British Columbians. Wallace was diganosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) three years ago and is 52 years old.

Asked how the disease affects him in his day to day, he said, “[I’m] tired, that’s one of the main things. Not a lot of energy by the end of the day by the time I’ve finished working all day. And shaking. My left arm shakes lots and I kind of walk with a bit of a shuffle with my left side.”

Despite the disease slowing him down a little, Wallace still plans to golf this year and do other things he’d normally do. He also sometimes attends a PD exercise group in Trail that meets once a week and is facilitated by physiotherapist Joanne Robbins.

Wallace also co-facilitates a support group in Nelson that’s run in partnership with the Parkinson Society of BC. The group meets monthly and anyone interested in joining the group can contact Wallace at 250-608-2865 or Patti Leggett at 250-367-9258.

All of the Parkinson Society of BC’s support groups are volunteer run, with the society providing resources. Alicia Wrobel, manager of marketing and communications for the society, says, “We are always open to anyone who may want to start [a support group] in a particular area.”

For Parkinson Awareness Month, the society invites individuals to participate in its This is Parkinson’s campaign. The society produced a series of posters featuring individuals with PD who are different ages, genders and ethnicity to show that the disease can affect anyone. The posters are available for download at and can be displayed in BC communities to help raise awareness. There’s also an option to request a printed poster by mail for those who don’t have access to a printer.

The Parkinson Society of BC will also be offering a workshop to address the communications and swallowing challenges faced by those with PD in Castlegar on Friday, June 3. The workshop will be held at the Sandman Hotel from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and should be registered for in advance at

For more information on the services provided by the Parkinson Society of BC visit their website or call 1-800-668-3330.

For their part, Parkinson Canada is offering free webinars in April. The first, Voice and communications therapies in Parkinson’s disease: Evidence, timing and techniques, is an English language webinar on Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to noon. Visit to register in advance.

The second is a French language webinar that will take place on Thursday, April 28 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. French speakers can visit to register.


Just Posted

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Castlegar daycare selected for univeral child care pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

Castlegar Remembers

Hundreds gathered at Kinsmen Park on Sunday to mark the Centenary of the end of WW1

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read