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Event hoped to raise awareness and money for Parkinson’s Association

It is hoped that an upcoming event will raise awareness for Parkinson’s Disease. The Grande Prairie chapter of the Parkinson’s Association of Canada will be hosting a food and beverage event on Friday called TAP’D OUT.

The regional chapter of the group has been running in the Grande Prairie area since 2012. Client Services Coordinator Shauna Livesey says hosting events like this are a great way to let people know that they’re here.

“We’re finally getting out there and people are realizing that they are not alone with Parkinson’s Disease and we’re here to help them. In the Grande Prairie area we started off about a year and a half ago with about 30 something clients and now we’ve grown to 68.”

Parkinson’s Disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Symptoms can include stiff muscles, tremors, and changes in speech. The disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer’s and currently affects more than 10,000 Albertans.

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Friday’s event will feature local food and beverage vendors and all the money will stay in the region to go towards programs like in-person support groups, telephone support groups and an exercise program called PWR! Moves. While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, Livesey says programs like PWR! Moves have helped people gain a bit of their freedom back.

“We’ve seen a huge growth in this area. We’ve had people who come in who’ve started in a wheelchair and by the end of the program, they’re walking without a wheelchair, without any support at all.”

TAP’D OUT will be held at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre on April 12th from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets can be found here.

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