Local Teacher Getting Support in His Fight for Those with Parkinson’s Disease

In Local

By Cecilia Nasmith/Pete Fisher
Local teacher Patrick Steeves is delighted to announce he is 80% of the way to his $10,000 goal to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation in its fight against Parkinson’s Disease.

Steeves – raised in Dundonald and an alumnus of South Cramahe Public School and East Northumberland Secondary School – announced his plans in April to participate in the fundraiser by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in August. Though the team of climbers (known as Team Fox) has grown to seven, he is still the only Canadian. But he is one of four team members who is living with Parkinson’s Disease, and he is working hard with weights, physiotherapy, walking and his stationary bike to be ready for the challenge.

The majority of the donations he’s gotten so far come from friends and family (including parents John and Mae Steeves of Cobourg), as well as members of the community and his Masonic lodge and his colleagues (he’s a math teacher at Peterborough’s Adam Scott Collegiate Vocational Institute).

“Support has been quite positive, some surprise at the diagnosis and the fact that someone with PD can do this hike,” Steeves reported.

“It has been interesting the number of people who have reached out revealing how PD has affected their own members and their families.”

While rising to an elevation of 19,340 ft., Mt. Kilimanjaro does not present the same survival problems as Mt. Everest and no specialized gear is required. Having looked at the project, Steeves has concluded that he feels healthy enough right now to be part of this challenge. And he looks forward to the chance to give back and making a lasting impact for all who live with PD.

He will pay his own expenses, including transportation to the site, and every cent of the money he raises goes to the foundation named after an actor everyone of his generation grew up with.

“I am among the more than seven million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s – the second-most-common neurological disorder,” Steeves said when he announced his challenge.

“In Canada, approximately 6,600 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. Together, we can change that.”

The Facebook site he has set up (https://www.facebook.com/share/p/Ey6F5KhBLgNMmy6P/?mibextid=oFDknk) shares his story, and donations can be made at tinyurl.com/PatrickSteeves. It is set up to accept Canadian or US funds. Please select “Canadian” and provide details to ensure you get your Canada Revenue Agency tax-deductible receipt.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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