“The Parkinson Society has been a great source of support for me, guiding me towards reading material and resource people.”
- Alain Garceau
Alain Garceau’s battle with Parkinson’s disease began in January 2004. “I was on a ski trip and in the middle of a run, I found myself stiffening, unable to turn. I had to ski down a beginner’s run. I didn’t understand what was happening. I’ve been an expert skier for years,” recounts Alain
After a few months of tests, Alain received the devastating diagnosis: Parkinson’s. Time simply stopped. How was this disease going to affect him and his family? “I’m a father of three young boys, a father who can no longer move and falls all the time,” says Alain.
And so began a dark period in Alain’s life, where something as simple as taking a walk became a major effort, demanding every ounce of his concentration just to place one foot in front of the other. “I feel like a computer with a frozen hard drive. The brain wants to make a movement but the body doesn’t respond.” Over time, Alain lost his strength and mobility and eventually the ability to play with his kids. “Parkinson’s is much more than shaking. In my case it’s impaired motor skills, slowness, stiffness and a loss of balance,” says Alain.
Medication has allowed Alain to regain some of his motors skills, to resume walking and even to take up biking. His medications have been changed and adjusted many times over the last 10 years in an effort to control and contain the side effects. It will soon be 3 years since Alain had to quit his job.
“Parkinson’s has definitely changed our lives. My family has had to learn to live with my disease and to adjust to my pace. My name is Alain Garceau and I am living proof that donating to Health Partners - Quebec works.”