30 Days of Parkinson’s: Building Networks in Community

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30 Days of Parkinson's

Photo courtesy of Jack Waller

Day 21 of 30

This is Jack Waller’s story:

My name is Jack, and I am dedicated to my husband, Ken, and every other Nova Scotian affected by Parkinson’s. 

Eleven years ago, our doctor noticed a slight twitch in Ken’s thumb. Shortly thereafter, Ken received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s and was given seven more years to live. Despite this, we immediately began searching for information and resources but had trouble finding anything that was accessible at a local level. The evidence for this apparent lack of accessibility continued to build when we met with other couples who described facing similar issues accessing resources.

This led us to the rather bothersome conclusion that there weren’t any resources at our local level for people with Parkinson’s, their care providers, or their families. So in 2018, Ken, our friend Theresa Zukauskas, and I officially registered Parkinson Society Nova Scotia as a nonprofit.

At first, this was incredibly challenging as it was only the three of us acting as the lifeblood of the society, all the while adjusting to life with Parkinson’s. Nevertheless, we began to establish networks of connections within both the international and local Parkinson’s communities.

Today, we are fortunate to be joined by volunteers with a wide variety of skill sets, and who all believe in the values and the mission of our society. With their help, and from the generous support of individuals, we are able to continue building our support networks and outreach. Our hope is that others also share the deep beliefs we have in our mission.

Parkinson’s News Today’s 30 Days of Parkinson’s campaign will publish one story per day for Parkinson’s Awareness Month in April. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPAR, or go here to see the full series.