When they were first approached about being photographed and interviewed on camera about their Parkinson's journey, Roy Amador and his daughter Richel didn't hesitate. Depsite the fact that they are first time walkers, they've already enlisted most of their family and friends to join them at Parkinson SuperWalk in Vancouver this year. "We can't wait to walk with others who are just as passionate about Parkinson's research and who want to support their loved ones," explains Richel. "I want my dad to know that he's not alone in any of this."
Roy is a former surgeon who has been living with Parkinson's disease (PD) for years. When he was first diagnosed, he was nervous about the potentially negative impact of PD on his family life. He credits a strong spiritual upbringing for maintaining his reliency and positive attitude, even as the disease progresses. Richel explains that while adjusting to the diagnosis was difficult for Roy and the family, "his will power and strength is what pushes me to live life to the fullest and take the punches as they come."
Although Richel (now in her twenties) was a child when Roy was diagnosed, she explains that she only truly began to understand the complexities of Parkinson's disease after she completed nursing school a year ago. As she studied, she learned more about how Parkinson's disease affects other aspects of a person's life, including the psychosocial.
Improving public awareness about Parkinson's is key to their motivation to participate in SuperWalk. Richel emphasizes the importance of continued Parkinson's research. "When we discuss different therapies that we have read about, I want Roy to feel like I'm in this journey with him. With ever evolving technologies and health care advancements, we could learn so much."
Roy and Richel are two of five real British Columbians who participated in a Parkinson SuperWalk photo and videoshoot. Learn more about Roy and Richel in the Parkinson SuperWalk YouTube Video.