Champions of Hope Campaign Chair, Bob Fisher

Bob has experienced several boom/bust cycles in his 30 year career in oil and gas.

After retiring in 2004, he began to experience symptoms typical of Parkinson’s. “I started to notice things were a little different,” Bob says. “My wife did too.”

He consulted his doctor and later a neurologist who confirmed his fear—he was diagnosed with Parkinson disease in 2008.

“The first three years [after being diagnosed], I felt pretty good about myself,” Bob continues. “People were talking about Parkinson’s but I realized most people didn’t understand it.”

One of those people was his youngest daughter. Bob’s eldest daughter, a veterinarian, had a lot of experience with medical conditions and the like, so she was able to handle the news comparably well. But the younger daughter was really upset. She said, “I don’t know what to do. I need to do something.”

She signed up for the Parkinson fundraising walk in her city and raised just over $7000—the most by any single donor in that year. She was also able to raise awareness of Parkinson’s in the over 30 team members she recruited to join her.

Similarly, around the same time Bob started thinking he should get involved with something but he didn’t quite know what. He joined breakfast clubs and tried to keep himself busy. “I just found that I kept meeting people with Parkinson’s or hearing about friends who know somebody with Parkinson’s—a lot of people have connections to this disease.”

He connected with Parkinson Association of Alberta six years ago. He connected with Parkinson Association of Alberta through two former co-workers who were involved in the Champions of Hope campaign. Bob says, “It’s not fair to let someone else do all the work,” and became campaign chair.

Champions of Hope is a 4-year campaign that aims to raise $5,000,000 for Parkinson disease research. “It’s a going to take a herculean effort to achieve our goal, but we’re committed.”

As far as day-to-day, Bob says he doesn’t have any pain and can still participate in most of his favourite pastimes: travel, trail walking, golfing, woodworking, visiting his daughters and new grandson, and driving his classic car—a 1957 Thunderbird. Bob has been a fixture at the annual Tulip Golf Tournament and has been a staunch fundraiser for Parkinson Association of Alberta.

Bob has one request for you: “Please consider participating or donating to this year’s Flexxaire Step ‘n Stride fundraising walk, taking place on September 9th and 10th in ten locations in Alberta. You’ll find it very rewarding.”

Bob Fisher was born in Saskatchewan but grew up in rural Alberta. He obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta and began a career in the oil and gas business.

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