By Gord Bowes, News staff
Nearly three years after finding out she has Parkinson’s disease, Kim Petrie is continuing to work and trying to stay active.
It’s tough sometimes, because the disease, which can cause uncontrollable tremors and makes it difficult to perform simple motor functions, limits her.
It affects her left side, so she walks with a bit of a limp. It also makes it difficult to sit, so around 3 p.m. each work day, she has the urge to go for a jog or something to ease the condition.
“Surprisingly, I can run much better than I can walk,” says Petrie. “I haven’t quite figured that one out yet.”
Petrie, 48, is younger than most people afflicted with Parkinson’s, but there are many like her. She reminds people it is a misconception that Parkinson’s is an older person’s disease.
That will be driven home on March 28 when she holds her second annual Let’s Shake fundraiser, a fun event which is also designed to raise awareness of young-onset Parkinson’s.
This year’s keynote speaker is former NHLer Steve Ludzic, who has been battling Parkinson’s since about age 40.
The first Let’s Shake was more successful than Petrie expected. She originally thought of it as a stag-and-doe type of event with about 200 people that would raise $5,000.
It turned into something more formal and much bigger, however, with about 600 tickets sold and raising $25,000.
Holding this year’s event, dubbed Let’s Shake Again, at Michelangelo’s allows a bigger crowd and the ability to hold it on a Friday night, Petrie says. Much of the crowd left early last year because it was held on a Sunday night.
“This year we’re hoping to draw more people and have them stay longer,” she said.
Let’s Shake Again is scheduled for March 28 at Michelangelo Banquet Centre, 1550 Upper Ottawa St. It features a four-course dinner, silent and live auction, and entertainment by Crank, Blind River and Gord Lewis of Teenage Head. Walter Gretzky will also be attending.
Tickets are $35. For more details or to order tickets, see lets-shake.com.