Our National Hero Contest celebrates Everyday Heroes whose Extraordinary Hope fuels SuperWalk in communities across Canada.

Josephine Jollymore, our 2019/20 National Hero. Leader; mentor; guide; hero.

Margaret Milne, a close friend and leader within the Parkinson Canada Pictou County Chapter submitted the nomination with unanimous support from the group. She shares:

"In 2003 when the past president of the group, Jamie Milne had to step away she was persuaded to assume the role despite being her husband Gordon's caregiver. Under her guidance the Pictou County group has grown and flourished. When Gordon passed away in 2005 she filled her time supporting others.

As time went on, some members required more assistance and care than could be provided at home & moved into Assisted Care Homes all over the county. It was important to Josephine that although they could no longer attend the support group meetings, they feel valued and remembered.

Her advice, guidance and concern is always just a telephone call away. She has personally raised a lions share of SuperWalk pledges due to her personal credibility. For all these reasons and so many more Josephine Jollymore is our hero!"

Phyllis Porter on Josephine Jollymore

Personally, I have wanted this for years! Josephine deserves to be recognized on a provincial and national level. So, this means the world to me, to honour our mentor and our guide and our inspiration for doing for others what she has done for countless individuals.

Jeanette Crews on Josephine Jollymore

I consider her to be an outstanding lady. She has a kind generous heart and genuinely cares about people. She has been an outstanding leader of our Chapter for a number of years. Outside the group Josephine also gives much of herself. When my husband was in hospital (I live in another town) she invited me to come to her house for rest period, even giving me a key to her house in case she wasn't home. She's made an effort to make sure that sick members, or those who have moved to assisted living are not forgotten when they can't make it to a meeting. I cannot think of a more deserving person to receive this honor.

Congratulations Nominees

Our Support Groups across the country were called upon to nominate their heroes. These heroes will lead their local walks with pride. Congratulations to:

  • Lou McCann of Smiths Falls
  • Richard Molde of Moose Jaw
  • Rick Lake of Swift Current
  • Vince McGillicky of Estevan
  • Murray McBain of Montreal
  • Earl Power of Charlottetown
  • Cameron McCrae of Campbellton/Restigouche
  • Raymonde Guimond of South East New Brunswick
  • Laurie Bouchard of Fredericton
  • Emmalee Harvey of the Annapolis Valley
  • Diane Mahar of Halifax
  • And many more across the country

Pat Evans, our 2018 National Hero stands up to her diagnosis and for her community... No Matter What!

She was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s 12 years ago; when her movement disorders specialist who matter-of-factly announced, “You’ve got Parkinson’s”. Up to that point in life, Pat had worn many hats— social worker, mother, wife, activist, constituency assistant, friend and volunteer.

She learned to manage her Parkinson’s diagnosis with the same level of energy and commitment she brings to all these roles. Get the facts, don’t settle. Make it happen, no matter what. With a skilled medical team, healthy life choices, a supportive husband, and a purposeful exercise routine, Pat Evans is challenging Parkinson’s every step of the way.

After relocating to eastern Ontario, she realized that resources for people with Parkinson’s in certain rural communities were either not readily available or accessible for a variety of reasons. For folks in Lanark and Leeds counties, this was about to change. Pat approaches these challenges with the same logical, motivated approach she brings to managing her Parkinson’s symptoms. To her credit, with passion and staff support from Parkinson Canada, she has created a new support group and worked to establish community exercise programs.

To Gayle Truman she is a hero. Gayle who nominated Pat for the SuperWalk National Hero Award wrote, "through Pat’s attitude and example, I came to realize that there is life after Parkinson’s."

Read more stories below!

We thank Roger Sands of Arranel Studios for providing photo and video footage of our Lanark North Leeds walk, and our 2018 National Hero Pat Evans.

Ardyce Glessing, our 2017 National Hero has been living with Parkinson's for 10 years

She has not let her diagnosis change her relationship with family, however. The Wadena, Saskatchewan grandmother is active in the lives of her grandchildren and provides support for her 97 year old mother as well. She reflects, "[w]hen someone has Parkinson’s the whole family and everyone who loves them does too. I did not really know anything about it until being diagnosed July 7th, 2008, a day that will always be etched in my mind."

Like many Everyday Heroes, Ardyce brings a No Matter What attitude to living well with Parkinson's. "Some days doing the best we can will fall short of what we would like to do. We must not dwell on what we can't do and be thankful for what we can. You may see me struggle but you will never see me quit, we must keep going! To me, that is the key to living well with Parkinson’s.

Emotional support is one of the most important things that my friends and family give me. They give me strength by being there for me, and by showing their support through Parkinson SuperWalk".

Research Hero - Jacob Aguirre

Aguirre is building off the work of former Parkinson Canada Research Program grant recipients. "Our hope is that if we can get a firm understanding of Parkin’s atomic structure, that this can provide clues into its function in the cell and why these mutations are causing dysfunction for this protein, resulting in disease," he says. "We’re hoping that we can use a rational drug design method to come up with small molecules or drugs that might activate this protein."
Read More

Volunteer Hero - Jamie Fobert

Diagnosed at 40, Jamie Fobert is a father and new husband. He's also the co-leader of our Belleville Parkinson SuperWalk. He shares, "Fighting back became just a part of me. There are 100,000 Canadians that are living with Parkinson's. They need help. This is your fight, but you are not alone."

He knows the value of a volunteer driven support group first hand, and of giving back in his community. That's why Jamie volunteers. Read more

Caregiver Hero - Joyce Barretto

Joyce and her whole family are active in supporting her 92 year old mother Lena.

"For us as a family, it was the mobility issues. But, being a bunch of Type A's we started researching. It is interesting once you have a diagnosis, how many people you will come across that also have the same. As a family, we knew that she was going to fight because that's what she did. She's got backbone, and she's got determination. And we are here for her along the way." Hear more

Blake Bell, our 2016 National Hero, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007.

He shares “I started to participate in the SuperWalk because I wanted to support Parkinson's research but I also wanted to tell people about the disease, and ask them to help me in that search for a cure. It was a time in my life that I wanted to share my Parkinson's with people that did not know about my condition. I got overwhelming support from friends and family and that was part of what started to make me feel comfortable in public. In many ways, participating in Parkinson SuperWalk has been a part of my healing process.” When you join Parkinson SuperWalk, you commit to make a difference. And you tell those living with Parkinson’s and the 25 Canadians diagnosed every day, that they are not alone.


Facebook Twitter
Youtube Flickr


Burnbrae Farms
Travel Insurance Office Inc.

Parkinson Canada

© Parkinson Canada
4211 Yonge Street
Suite 316
Toronto ON M2P 2A9

Charitable Registration Number 10809 1786 RR0001

Phone: 416-227-9700
Toll Free: 1-800-565-3000
Fax: 416-227-9600

Parkinson Canada is accredited by Imagine Canada's Standards program, recognizing a quality of excellence in five fundamental areas: board governance, financial accountability and transparency, fundraising, staff management, and volunteer involvement.

Parkinson Canada