What requires four legs and 100 hands?
Two cyclists with Parkinson's Disease and an audacious plan.
Ask anyone with Parkinson's Disease about the day of their diagnosis, and you will hear some familiar themes - lost hope, isolation, defeat. With no cure, no defence, and no known cause, PD can cripple the soul long before it harms the body
You have probably heard of Parkinson’s Disease. You may even know people who suffer from it. Get
used to it, as Parkinson’s disease is the world’s fastest growing neurological condition, set to double in
number by 2040.
Parkinson’s Disease occurs when the brain’s dopamine-producing cells die prematurely. There is
currently no cure, no biomarkers to aid detection, no explanation to explain the cause, except that Canadians are disproportionately afflicted. Since dopamine is a neurotransmitter necessary for
many brain and body functions (including muscular control), the loss of dopamine affects all forms of movement and balance and non-motor functions such as memory, concentration, and
motivation. Think of dopamine as the electricity in an electric car: without it lights dim and the wheels
But there is reason for hope. Medical science continues to research and develop new drugs and
therapies. Encouragingly, one technique has emerged that can help alleviate symptoms, improve bodily health, and perhaps even slow the progression of this disease: intensive exercise.
However, the typical person living with Parkinson’s Disease does not engage in regular intensive exercise despite this knowledge. Why? Lack of knowledge, limited opportunity, and fear: they may not know or understand the benefits of exercise to combat this ailment. They don't have convenient services or facilities to utilize or are too afraid to try.
Instead, 9 in 10 people living with Parkinson’s Disease are suffering in silence, isolation, or without the support of a knowledgeable organization or community.
We aim to change this. We are Jim Redmond, Steven Iseman and Mike Loghrin (Canadians living with
PD) along with Darlene-Richards-Loghrin (Wife and Caregiver). Together we have formed the Spinning
Wheels Tour. Our goal is to be role models for the Parkinson’s community and demonstrate by
example what people living with Parkinson’s Disease can do, and the benefits of doing it.
Jim and Steve will ride across Canada to inspire people living with Parkinson’s, raise funds for regional
Parkinson charities, and educate through discussion. We will be stopping in communities throughout
Canada - big and small - and speak to the value of strenuous exercise and cycling for pushing back
against the symptoms of Parkinson’s. We will also share the benefits of finding a supportive Parkinson’s
community. As Steve and Jim ride, Mike and Darlene will be working hard to generate contacts,
speaking engagements and interest in the ride, as well as chronicling the endeavour with a daily blog of
shared stories and videos of people living with Parkinson’s from across the country.
In the end, we hope to inspire those who are currently ‘spinning their wheels’ in frustration and solitude
to start spinning their wheels towards health.
Website with further details to launch shortly