Louise Corbeil-Matthew and her husband, David Matthew, were introduced to Parkinson’s in 2014, when David was diagnosed. They did not know much about the disease, but started doing research and reading books, which gave them valuable information.
The couple had moved from Ottawa to the Okanagan in 1998, and it was here that they found the Kelowna Parkinson’s Support Group. It took them two years to finally attend a meeting, but once they did, they never looked back! The pair immediately felt welcome in the group, as though they were family.
At their very first meeting, Louise offered her help to the group’s resource coordinator, and shortly after, she became their new events and resource coordinator. She enjoys finding speakers for their monthly meetings, providing valuable information to the Kelowna PD community, and coordinating an annual health fair. Louise also was a part of the SuperWalk planning committee for two years, and still continues to help on the day of the Walk.
Louise wishes that more people knew that Parkinson’s “is not just a ‘shaky’ disease, but a very complex disease.”
“People may have similar symptoms, yet they are different,” she says. “It changes a person physically, and sometimes mentally, but in many ways, they are still the same person and should be treated as such. It is a disease that affects not only the individual, but the entire family, and friends.”
When describing her favourite part of volunteering, Louise says, “it is knowing that I am helping others through their PD journey, and hoping that I am making their lives a little easier with the resources and speakers that I bring to them.”
To anybody considering volunteering with Parkinson Society BC, Louise’s message is simple: “Just do it! You will feel the ‘family spirit’ and learn so much along the way.”