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Walk in the Park

06 Aug 2019

Walk in the Park Image

By Sarah Bartlett

Parkinson’s Victoria’s annual fundraising event A Walk in the Park returns along the banks of the Yarra River on August 18 this August for its 11th year.

The flagship Melbourne walk raises awareness for individuals that are forced to adapt to the progressive and lifelong chronic condition while they continue with their daily responsibilities of working and raising their families.

Parkinson’s Victoria CEO Emma Collin said that the walk was important for a multitude of reasons.

“It creates a sense of belonging for people living with Parkinson’s, of being part of a community who understand and support each other. It also improves community awareness of the condition and raises vital funds so that we can continue to deliver our much valued services and support,” Ms Collin said.

There are two non-competitive walks offered for the fundraiser with routes of either 2km or 4km. Both routes are mobility friendly. The walk begins at Federation Square at 11am and will cover the area along the banks of the Yarra River. Dogs are also welcome to participate with a registration fee of $10. Registrations for adults are $45, seniors $30, children 5-15 years $15 and children under 5 are free.

Participants will each receive a walk bib, which can be personalised with their reason for taking part in the walk. They will also receive a medal that recognises their support for the fundraiser, as well as serving as a memento for their experience.

A variety of fun filled family activities will also be held prior to the walk at 9.30am.

MFB firefighter Steve Watts will be the face for this year’s A Walk in the Park.

Steve Watts is a father of five children aged from 12 to 23 years old and he has been living with Parkinson’s since 2017. Because of his condition, Steve is no longer able to hold a front-line position and has recently been made community resilience commander. The MFB is supportive of Steve’s journey and is committed to working with him into the future.

As the 2019 ambassador, Steve will lead the annual fundraiser and assist with raising awareness for Parkinson’s.

Currently there are 27,000 people in Victoria that are living with Parkinson’s. The condition is the second most common neurological condition seen within the community, with 20 per cent of individuals living with Parkinson’s before they are 60.

Symptoms can be managed through medications and support offered from healthcare professionals. There is currently no way to slow progression or cure the condition.

A Walk in the Park will take place on August 18. Register online at parkinsonswalk.org.au or on the day from 8.30am.

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