We RUN for Parkinson’s Research

It all started with a group of motivated people from Ottawa’s banking community, with a connection with Parkinson’s disease. Twelve years later, PIPR—Partners Investing in Parkinson’s Research—has raised $1.4 million through Run for a Reason at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

Once again this year, dozens of people will rally and walk or run in the spirit of supporting the world-class Parkinson’s research happening at The Ottawa Hospital. Karin Fuller, co-captain of team PIPR, says while the purpose is to fundraise—the roots of this group go much deeper. “It was initially looked at as an investment to find a cure. Now, it’s like a second family for many people. It’s like a support system. A group which brings people together to feel supported.”

It’s also very personal for many including Karin, who has watched her dad live with Parkinson’s, which is now quite advanced. 

PIPR provides support

PIPR is the definition of a support group for Elaine Goetz, who has been involved for seven years. She has been living with Parkinson’s for 13 years now, and PIPR gives her hope. “I see what research is being done; it’s quite impressive and I’m privileged to be involved with such a great organization,” says Elaine.

She looks forward to the group coming together each year. “When you have a condition like Parkinson’s, it’s so easy to become isolated if you don’t know anyone else who has the disease or you don’t have the support. What PIPR does for me, is it makes me feel a part of a community. It’s important to be involved. It empowers me to live well with Parkinson’s.”

While PIPR is marking a dozen years together, they are always recruiting new people to join. That’s how Kristy Shortall-Cain, co-captain of team PIPR, became involved in the past year. Like many others involved, she has good family friends who have Parkinson’s. It all started when she was invited to a PIPR meeting. “I was just blown away by the people who were around the table, from people with the disease, to family and friends, like me, to doctors, and researchers from The Ottawa Hospital—all with a common goal and everyone is really pumped up about it.”

Seeing results

The group is also motivated by the results they see. Elaine is quick to point out PIPR helped to bring deep brain stimulation surgery (DBS) to The Ottawa Hospital. Karin knows firsthand what that means. “When my dad had that surgery he had to go to Toronto, which meant going back and forth for the appointments. It was a lot for him and for our family. DBS is a tangible example of what we’ve been able to do as a group to support The Ottawa Hospital.”

More than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson’s, including 8,000 here in Ottawa. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects voluntary, controlled movement. 

WE DO THE RUN for people living with Parkinson’s disease. 

Join or donate to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Partners Investing in Parkinson’s fundraising team! You can also choose to support any one of the 70+ charities in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge through running Tamarack Ottawa Virtual Race Weekend! Find out more here.