Gary Ball knows how difficult living with Parkinson’s disease can be.
“I have pretty much lost mobility in my left side.” said Ball, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2009. “It’s very debilitating. I had to retire.
“I can still walk, but I’m stiff, so I’m limited.”
Ball served as chairperson of the 13th annual Parkinson SuperWalk, which drew more than 100 people to Mohawk Park on Saturday afternoon to support family and friends affected by the disease and research into a cure.
This year’s walk raised more than $30,000 locally.
Since the local walk’s inception 12 years ago, Brantford and the surrounding area has raised almost $370,000 for the Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario.
The annual walk is held in 95 cities and towns across Canada.
Parkinson’s disease is a slow-progressing neurological disorder. Common symptoms include tremors or shaking, slowness in movement, muscle stiffness and problems with balance.
“It…affects people differently and in varying degrees,” Ball said. “But when I see this many people out in support of the walk, it makes me feel that there is lots of support for research into a cure for those affected by the disease.”
Sara Ardiel of Freelton brought her husband and two children to the walk.
“I came out in honour of my dad, who was diagnosed about three years ago,” Ardiel said. “It has been difficult. I think it is important to build awareness and people should not be ashamed because it affects a lot of people.”