Champions of Hope

Our mission is to make every day better for Albertans. Over the next four years, our goal is to raise $5 million for the Champions of Hope Research Fund to help fund Parkinson research, and ultimately, to find a cure for Parkinson disease.

Currently there are limited funds that support research for Parkinson disease and related movement disorders.  We cannot do this alone; in order to raise the profile of this neurological disease we must come together with the experts in the field of research so that we can successfully gain support from our members, corporate Alberta and the government.


Research. Participation. Funding. Give. Champions.


These five elements form the Champions of Hope (COH) Program. Whether you are here to learn more about the research projects we fund, or are interested in participating in the program, or are applying for funding, you'll find everything you need by clicking on the sections below.




The Chair: Bob Fisher

Bob Fisher has committed to be the first chair of the largest campaign for Parkinson research in Alberta and possibly the country. He was diagnosed with PD in 2009, and is devoted to combatting the neurological condition through research. As a mechanical engineer, VP, and business owner in Alberta's energy sector, he is a firm believer that dedicated research and bright minds can solve any problems. Having him as the first chair of the Champions of Hope research program echoes that philosophy. 



The Facts:

  • Parkinson disease is a progressive disease of the brain that results when dopamine-producing cells die. It can be mistaken as a natural part of the aging process.
  • Parkinson disease affects all ethnic and racial groups equally – the average age of diagnosis is 56, with 10% being diagnosed before 40 years of age (Young Onset).
  • The economic impact of Parkinson disease on public health care in Alberta is approximately $1,000 per month per patient, including support services and education.
  • The direct costs (including hospital care, physician care and drug expenditures) and indirect costs (mortality and morbidity) for Parkinson disease in Alberta are $45.8 million per year.
  • Parkinson Association of Alberta does not receive core government funding for our services, nor do we charge for any of our core services. They are funded through donations from individuals and organizations as well as through fundraising events such as Parkinson Step ‘n Stride.
  • Parkinson Association of Alberta has a physical presence in seven regions across Alberta and can be reached via Canada’s only Parkinson disease Helpline at 1-877-243-9992 by both clients and practitioners.

The Goals:

  • Promote the care and treatment of Parkinson’s clients and their care partners
  • Enhance research into the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson disease
  • Promote the education of people with Parkinson’s, their care partners, families and health professionals
  • Develop opportunities for study and interdisciplinary collaboration

Parkinson Association of Alberta is raising funds for research that will benefit local research programs with the aim of one day providing financial support for national and international research. Working with the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge, Parkinson Association of Alberta will bring together the research and business community in order to raise significant funds over a four-year period.

Funding will support

COH funding will support the bright young minds of Alberta to push the boundaries of current research to new and exciting levels.  Funds will be dispersed in the form of competitive grants for innovative Parkinson disease research projects, graduate students, and training fellowships within the existing neuroscience research infrastructure at the universities. This funding opportunity will provide researchers with the resources to allocate time, energy and expertise to Parkinson disease research. It will also provide an excellent training opportunity for students and junior researchers, thereby helping to create a new generation of Parkinson disease researchers. This creates an excellent return on your philanthropic investment.


Parkinson Association of Alberta is the voice of Albertans and their families living with Parkinson disease. 


We help to ease the burden through advocacy, education and client services, and to find a cure through research. We are the only charitable organization in Alberta providing support and services for the over 10,000 people living with Parkinson disease, and the tens of thousands more in the care of partners and families in our province.

Please direct any questions regarding the Champions of Hope program to


Interested in donating to the Champions of Hope program? Please click "Donate Now" below:

Donate Now



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