Steve’s Blog – July 19 – the reason why you really must bend your route to include Kindersley – Kindersley Sask

We know from the very outset that today is a very special day.  

We start the day with a gorgeous bread pudding and baked apple breakfast dish that would be at home in a fine Parisian patisserie.

We backtrack by RV to Flaxcombe, where we left off yesterday. Then all of us – all four – ride to Kindersley.  We collected at the Museum, about 1.5 hrs ahead of our event, and greeted people as they arrived.  What happened next will live in my memory for ages. The citizens of Kindersley began pouring in. The hall was quickly filled, with perhaps 80 or more well-wishers who gathered to raise funds for our cause ($2,000, by early estimates). The mayor gave a short  and welcoming speech, followed by a touching and funny  speech by Jim. I had several deeply meaningful conversations, including chats with Janine, Nancy and Wayne, Karen and Blair, and Kevin.

And then it hit me: Kindersley is the perfect example of why we are on this journey. What we are doing is hard, really at the edges of what we can physically do. But it is for a purpose of matching importance. Kindersley is a place where “neighbours” are important – they are essential parts of the community, with shared interests and social roles. Kindersley, is a historical, socially active, civicly engaged, agriculture and oil town with a strong sense of community.  So, when community members are  broadsided by illness, such as Parkinsons Disease, the community is there to help. 

So what’s our role? For one, we are there. We aren’t an email or ad campaign. We got on our bikes and rode there. And we did to deliver a message – a positive message – that fighting back against PD is worth it, to focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t, to connect with others, and to make exercise a daily fixture.  We hope to lead by example.

The generosity, openness and warmth of Kindersley and our wonderful hosts has made a lasting impression on each of us, and we are so happy that we bent our route to spend time here.

4 Responses

  1. So glad you had a good visit in Kindersley. Bonnie and Reed are wonderful people and western hospitality can’t be beat.
    Saw that a Canadian won a leg of the Tour de France you guys are winning every leg of your tour de Canada. So proud of all you are doing to bring awareness of Parkinson’s to people all across the country.

  2. What a lovely blog you posted today Steve. ☺️ We are the ones blessed to have you come to Kindersley. All four of you have encouraged us and are wonderful ambassadors for the PD cause. It’s just amazing what you’re accomplishing. Also I was personally encouraged by the people that came out on a hot day with very little notice.
    We’re looking forward to following your journey & will be lifting you all up in our prayers. 🙏🙏🙏🙏

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Why We Are Doing it

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. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter necessary for many functions of the brain and body, including muscular control, and its loss affects all forms of movement and balance, as well as non-motor functions such as memory, concentration and motivation.  Think of dopamine as the electricity in an electric car: without it, the lights dim and the wheels stop spinning.

There is currently no cure, no bio-markers to aid detection, and little is known about how it is triggered, except that Canadians are disproportionately afflicted

Most people living with Parkinson’s reduce or even discontinue regular intensive physical activity after their Parkinson’s diagnosis.  Why?  Their actual skills and abilities do not suddenly evaporate on the date of their diagnosis, though their mental fortitude often does.  As a result, many abandon the very restorative health practices, such as regular exercise, when they are needed the most.  For people with Parkinson’s, intensive exercise can boost energy, sharpen the mind, elevate spirits and keep the body mobile.  Studies indicate that intense exercise can help train the Parkinson’s afflicted brain to use dopamine more efficiently and be able to do more with less.

Let’s use the dopamine we have to build the lives we want.

What are We Doing

Canada is a big country.  It is home to over 100,000 people living with Parkinson’s disease, 9 in 10 of which suffer in silence, isolation, or without the support of a knowledgeable organization or community.  Starting in June 2022, we aim to cross our big country by bicycle to meet as many of these people as possible to personally deliver this message: get moving to stay moving.  

We start In Victoria, British Columbia and ride east through every Canadian province, and hundreds of cities and towns along the way.  Our route is approximately 8,000 km, and we expect to average 125 km a day, six days a week for approximately three months.  Our Spinning Wheels Tour team will include two riders with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as two ride-along supporters to keep things moving.  Along the way, we will be meeting with people whose lives are touched by Parkinson’s, and encourage them to get moving with us, get engaged in support communities, and to set up their own group athletics.

We are not athletes, just people with the resolve to do what it takes to live well with this disease, and to encourage others..  

Along the way, we hope to hear these words, “If they can do it, I can too.”