My aunt is one of the greatest supporters of Parkinson Society Canada. My uncle suffered from Parkinson's, and even though he has now passed, my aunt still continues to help fund raise for the hope of a cure in the future. I remember how she used to organize information seminars to help those suffering from Parkinson's to understand it better. I used to do volunteer work for these sessions... helping people put on their name tags, helping people get in and out of chairs, and handing out brochures and guiding them into the seminar room. I would sit through these seminars myself and as a teenager, found every part of it fascinating. The long medical terms. The photos of a brain scan. The doctor who seemed to know it all. But watching my uncle deteriorate over the years was the biggest translation of what all of it meant. And so, it took me a while, a very long while... to accept that my own mother now suffers from Parkinson's.
Over the weekend, I attended the Superwalk for Parkinson's to help raise awareness and do a little bit of fundraising for research. I've been really lacking in effort in the past few years. By that I mean I haven't even shown up. To be completely honest, a small part of it had to do with me not wanting to face it. I'll admit. And I'm sure that feeling was mutual when my mom had said, "I don't feel like going this year". But we did. You'd think as a health care professional, I'd understand it better. And I do... but it doesn't make it easier. I'm older now and hopefully wiser, and I've accepted that this is just a part of my journey. Learning.
The Superwalk has certainly grown over the years, and it's nice to see all the supporters out there. I've decided that next year is going to be different for me. Maybe I won't be one of the top fundraiser like my aunt is every year or even run the 10km, but even if it's just to hand out brochures or volunteer t-shirts... I'm going back out there.