This year, in recognition of Parkinson's Awareness Month, and World Parkinson’s Day on April 11, we are encouraging individuals affected by the disease to share their experiences through our #PDANDME (PD and Me) campaign.
While most people have heard of Parkinson's disease (PD), the breadth of symptoms experienced and ripple effect the disease has on friends, family and the healthcare system is lesser understood. Furthermore, with approximately 13,000 people affected by the condition, making it the second most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer's, the disease receives considerably less attention.
This year's campaign seeks to expand the public's understanding of Parkinson's disease by highlighting:
- The complexity of the disease. While tremors are a common symptom, people with Parkinson’s experience a range of motor and non-motor symptoms.
- The diversity of the PD community. Although PD is slightly more prevalent in men than women, it impacts people regardless of age and ethnicity. The diversity of the disease has been the cornerstone of our This is Parkinson's disease campaign in 2016-17.
- The community impact of the disease. We recognize that Parkinson’s has an impact on those diagnosed, as well as their family and friends. We also know that the current healthcare system is often ill-equipped and too overburdened to assist patients with timely and effective disease management. With the aging population, the number of people in BC diagnosed with the condition is expected to increase, which will place further financial and social strains on families, institutions and organizations. It is for these reasons that Parkinson Society BC has been advocating for improved care and continuing the search for a cure by investing in promising research.
How can I help promote Parkinson's Awareness Month?
Social media is a powerful way to communicate. This year, we are encouraging you to share your Parkinson's disease (PD) story using the hashtag #PDANDME (PD and Me) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Be sure to like Parkinson Society British Columbia's page on Facebook. Share your PD story on our wall or on your personal profile using the #PDANDME hashtag. Select posts might be re-shared on the PSBC Facebook page*.
Sample Facebook Posts:
- Approximately 13,000 British Columbians have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD). While most people have heard of PD, the breadth of symptoms experienced and the ripple effect the condition has on family, friends and the healthcare system is lesser known. This April, I am supporting the Parkinson's community in BC by participating in #PDANDME.
- April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, and I'm taking part in the #PDANDME campaign to help raise awareness about Parkinson's disease, the second most common neurodenerative disorder after Alzheimer's.
Tweet your thoughts on PD or photos, and use the #PDANDME hashtag. As long as your tweets are public, others will be able to find you via the hashtag and engage*.
Find us on Twitter.
- While you might have heard of #ParkinsonsDisease, did you know that symptoms vary significantly from person to person? #PDANDME
- April is #ParkinsonsAwarenessMonth. Although #ParkinsonsDisease is slightly more prevalent in men than women, it impacts people regardless of age and ethnicity #PDANDME
- #ParkinsonsDisease impacts 13,000 British Columbians, as well as friends, family members and the healthcare system. #PDANDME
Tell your #PDANDME story visually on this photo based platform!*
Find us on Instagram.
*Parkinson Society British Columbia understands that everyone has a right to privacy on social media. Most social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, offer varying levels of privacy. Please don't feel pressure to change your settings - there are other ways to support this campaign! However, please be aware that hashtags can only be viewed by those who can see your accounts.
This April, you can participate in Parkinson's Awareness Month by placing a poster in the window of your home, place of business and favorite local hangout (with permission).
You can download a poster from one of the links below, or alternatively we have a limited supply of print posters available in 8.5” by 11”. Together, we can make a difference.
Download and print a copy of a poster:
Since April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, news coverage about the disease and the people affected is considered topical. In the past, many people with Parkinson's have been successful in helping to earn media coverage in their communities. This year, PSBC invites you to approach your own local media! To help with this, we have prepared press releases for your to share with journalists and/or news outlets.
In past years, residents have also provided interviews, written letters to the editor or offered their own stories which have been shared with various types of media. Here are some examples:
Parkinson Society British Columbia is planning an art exhibition featuring work by people with Parkinson's disease. In August, 2018, we will be showcasing select pieces at the Vancouver Public Library's Georgia Street branch gallery, called "the Moat".
We are currently seeking submissions for this project until June 1, 2018. Please send us your photographs, paintings and/or sketches. Sorry, due to gallery limitations only 2D art can be exhibited.
Where will I see Parkinson's Awareness Month promoted?
Global BC, Provincial
- Global BC Morning News Interviews: two stories pending approval
- 7 second ads (broadcast TV): April 2—April 27 approximately 16/week
- Our BC Community Calendar (broadcast TV): March 30—April 5
- BC1 Community Calendar (broadcast TV): March 30—April 11
- Global BC's Featured Events page (web): March 30—April 11
- Social media collaboration with Global BC's accounts: our larger social media ads with Global BC will be placed on April 1 & April 11
CHEK TV, Victoria
- Parkinson's Awareness Month will be featured in CHEK TV's Community Calendar airing March 31—April 6
- Facebook promotion on CHEK TV's account
On Wednesday, April 4 & Wednesday, April 11, several ads will be run in the following publications to assist in the promotion of Parkinson's Awareness Month:
- The Chilliwack Progress (Chilliwack, BC)
- Kamloops This Week (Kamloops, BC)
- Kelowna Capital News (Kelowna, BC)
- Maple Ridge News (Maple Ridge, BC)
- Vernon Morning Star (Vernon, BC)
Kamloops - 30 second PSAs
- Radio NL 610 AM: April 1 - 11
Kelowna - 30 second PSAs
- EZ Rock 101.5: April 2 - 15
- AM1150: April 2 - 15
Prince George - 30 second PSAs
Victoria - 30 second PSAs
If you live in the Lower Mainland, you may see ads on local transit promoting Parkinson's Awareness Month running from March 26, 2018 through May 4, 2018. These ads will be placed on the interior of skytrains and buses, as well, there will be large format ads on the outer sides of buses on several routes.
Proclamations are formal public statements issued by a governing body honouring or celebrating events, causes and individuals.
Every April PSBC approaches a number of communities about officially recognizing Parkinson's Awareness Month through proclamations. This year, proclamations will be issued by:
Proclamations in the following communities have been issued thanks to the support of various groups/individuals:
Special thank you to support from those who reached out to their city councils in support of Parkinson's Awareness Month:
- Kelowna (thank you to the Kelowna support group)
- Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows (thank you to Edith at the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows support group)
- New Westminster (thank you to Heidi at the Parkinson's Wellness Centre)
- Penticton (thank you to the Penticton support group)
- Prince George (thank you to the Prince George support group)
- Vernon (thank you to the Vernon support group)
Other communities across BC have the capacity to issue proclamations. While the procedure to submit proclamation requests vary, many government bodies will accept a written request letter and proclamation sample.
Click here to download a proclamation request template.
The following landmarks will help "shine a light" on World Parkinson's Day, which takes place on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018:
- BC Place
- Canada Place
- Vancouver City Hall
- Vancouver Lookout
- Telus Science World
- Fitzsimmons Bridge (Whistler)
More blog posts are on their way! Check back over the month of April for more excellent content from the BC Parkinson's community.
On Tuesday, March 27, 2018, Parkinson Society British Columbia were a part of the Vancouver Canucks' Community Corner. Richard Mayede, an active board member and one of the subjects pictured in the Society's 2017 and 2018 awareness campaigns, had the opportunity to speak to Vancouver Canucks player and NHL All-Star MVP Brock Boeser. Parkinson's disease (PD) awareness is a matter close to Boeser's heart, since his own father lives with PD.
Many thanks to Brock Boeser for taking the time to connect with the Society, and to the Vancouver Canucks for this opportunity!
The following photos are courtesy of Canucks for Kids: https://twitter.com/Canucksforkids/status/978834017976922113
Apart from the advertising and promotion outlined above, all support groups associated with Parkinson Society BC have been offered a Parkinson's Awarness Month kit. These kits include materials that will assist in community-level promotions.
If you are a local support group facilitator who would like to help promote Parkinson's Awareness Month in your community, please contact Amanda (contact information below).
If you have questions or comments about #PDANDME or any of PSBC's awareness activities, please contact:
Special thanks to the following community partners: