Monday, November 16, 2020


Dear Friends,

 

Greetings from the team at Parkinson Association of Alberta (PAA). I am reaching out to thank you sincerely for your ongoing support and your relationship with PAA as a member, donor, partner or volunteer. Because of people like you, we were both prepared for and have been successful staying connected with our Parkinson community. We are pleased to report that our Client Services Team has personally made phone contact with over 2,000 clients, run 160 support groups and delivered nearly 470 hours of unique online supportive, educational, motivational and physical programming since March 16th, when Alberta followed the world example of isolating. 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have hit people in a variety of ways with unique and sometimes devastating outcomes. We are committed to remaining a source of comfort and support as we continue to navigate confusing and stressful waters.

 

Prior to our change in circumstances, PAA was working with partners at Brain Canada and Parkinson Canada to bring you an educational event (Hope Conference) this fall. We can announce that we are still able to do that virtually and we invite you to save the date. Saturday, November 28th, you will be able to participate in this opportunity to learn and connect with leaders from across the country.  All free of charge, thanks to our friends at Brain Canada. The details of the agenda available here.

 

This letter is also a reminder to renew your membership (or purchase one). Your commitment to just $25 a year through memberships ensures your voice is heard for the future of our organization. You join a community of support and understanding where common experiences create lasting bonds and connections. You add to our ability to demonstrate value in the work we are so honoured to do. 

 

December is also a time of year where we are thinking about our annual donations and the upcoming tax season.  Canada has a generous tax credit system for donors to charities and the benefits can be significant. Our members make up the number one single source of operational revenue and we couldn’t do what we do without your generosity.

 

A note from Keith and Carol Williams (PAA Members)

 

Nearly a year ago we got the diagnosis that my wife Carol has Parkinson’s disease.

 

This was really disheartening as we had lost my older brother Don just two years earlier after a long stretch of years fighting this dreaded disease. He, along with a friend of ours for more than 50 years, were both showing the signs of a losing battle, and it left us with a sense of dread. During Don’s years of illness, he was a regular at the support group in our area. Not easily suppressed, he was very supportive of the others in the group, and the experience was regarded as a lifeline for both Don and his wife. 

 

We are finding the support group, including many of the same members who knew Don, to be very welcoming and open about their experiences, fears, hopes, tricks tried, and how they try to cope. After the first meeting, Carol was with the “Parkies” and I went with the caregivers. Both of us thought that the experience was a little scary, but really helpful. The personal stories, questions, and advice shared at the meetings has made the meetings something we look forward to. 

 

The follow-up emails and phone calls from Emma, our coordinator, really make the contact seem personal. We will survive this process and our hope is that those we share our story with will also benefit now and in the future.

 

Your membership and donations to ensure we continue to offer help today and hope for tomorrow for people like Keith and Carol. We will embrace 2021 much the same way we did 2020. We are hoping for a COVID-free environment but will adapt as need be to ensure we continue in our quest to be available and an important resource to all people living with Parkinson’s in Alberta. Our team is here for you. Please contact me directly with any questions or comments.

  

Thank you for your membership and for continuing to be part of our PAA family.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lana Tordoff,

Chief Executive Officer

 


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