On Sunday, April 11th, 2021, Queen’s for Parkinson Kingston (QPK) held a virtual World Parkinson Day event to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and to provide further education about PD. Despite the rainy weather, we had a huge turnout and overall a successful event!
The morning began with a dance class led by Amy Booth. Exercising through dance is such a great way to promote physical and cognitive health, whether you are living with Parkinson’s or without. Thank you to Amy for leading such a wonderful class! It was a great way to start the day with cheerful music and happy movements!
Following that, we had an origami session led by our club members, Mackenzie and Irina! They did a great job teaching everyone how to fold a paper tulip. We chose origami tulips because tulips are the official symbol for PD. Everyone looked so adorable with their paper tulips (screenshot below)!
We even submitted our photo to the Parkinson’s Tulip Project, which you can be a part of as well (here). “The Tulip Project will be collecting photos up through April 30, 2022. All images will then be used as part of The Tulip Project Garden, a display to be unveiled at the 6th World Parkinson Congress in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.” - World Parkinson Coalition
In the afternoon, we had the pleasure of hearing from guest speakers, Dr. Stuart Reid and Professor Douglas Munoz. Dr. Reid spoke about PD prognosis, PD care and the current status of development of PD therapies, particularly in Kingston. He also talked about his clinical work at Kingston’s Movement Disorder Clinic. He currently has a fundraiser running to expand care for Kingston community members living with Parkinson’s. Please consider donating if you have the means to donate (GoFundMe link)! Professor Munoz subsequently gave us a fascinating talk about his research in eye movement behaviours and how these behaviours can be used to assess neurodegenerative diseases, such as PD. We learned so much from both speakers, and we are so grateful to have them speak at our event.
Finally, we ended our event with the screening of the documentary “Capturing Grace” directed by David Iverson. The film follows a group of people living with Parkinson’s - some of them losing hope as their motor abilities declined. Through the power of dance and the support from a group of professional dancers from New York, individuals from this community find purpose again, as well as the strength and resilience to overcome life’s adversities. It was a beautiful and touching film. We are so happy to share the film with everyone.
A final thank you to everyone who came out to our event! We hoped you enjoyed yourself and learned a thing or two about PD. It was so lovely to see our group come together despite these difficult times. There was a mix of students, family members, and community members. This truly shows how supportive and resilient our community is! Last but not least, a big shoutout to all the QPK club members who made this event possible and successful! We could not have done this without our team’s efforts. Until next year...we hope to see you all again!