Joel (in the video above) and his family have participated for the last four years in the Flexxaire Parkinson Step 'N Stride with the whole family (Grandparents, Parents, Grand kids). Leah Richards is Joel's mother and she shares below why the Richards family recognizes this event each year!
Mom was diagnosed with PD 8 years ago. Since her diagnosis, I have become much more aware of the disease and its symptoms. PD has had a life-altering effect obviously on my Mom, but on my Dad, and all of us as well.
Mom and Dad are on the front lines of the battle and we often feel inadequate in our support. Wearing our t-shirts, raising money and walking along side of my Mom at the Step N’ Stride is one visible way that we can show our support.
It was especially poignant for me to hear the statistic that more people have been diagnosed PD than MS, yet people are much more informed about MS. I have witnessed first-hand, friends not knowing what to say to Mom, and not knowing how to acknowledge the “PD elephant in the room”. I want my Mom, and people with PD, to be included in the discussions, acknowledging the obvious symptoms.
It’s important that we do our part to help spread awareness of PD. Participating fully in the Step N’ Stride helps.
Our 7-year old son Joel is in Beaver Scouts He wanted to work towards earning the highest level badge in Beavers. To earn the badge, a Beaver must do something that supports his community and Joel immediately thought of his Grandma and the Parkinson’s Association. Joel is immensely proud of his video, and we are of him!

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