About Bill Sloan, Parkinson's Buddies Coordinator
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Read about the success of the Buddies Program!
What is the Parkinson's Buddies Program?
The Parkinson's Buddies Program is an initiative to strengthen the global Parkinson's community by matching WPC registrants (those who have signed up to attend the WPC in Montreal 2013) with Canadians with Parkinson's disease who have also signed up to attend the Congress.
Canadians interested in being a Parkinson's Buddy who are also attending the Congress can be matched, "buddied up" with people with Parkinson's from around the world who register for the Congress.
The idea is based on the concept of creating space for global dialogue, discussion and companionship across all borders. Parkinson's is not unique to any one country. Just as North Americans struggle with Parkinson's day to day, so too do people all over the world in Africa, South Pacific, South America, Europe and Asia.
The idea of having a buddy somewhere else in the world means that people with Parkinson's and their caregivers/family can share their ideas for coping, their successes and their trials and tribulations. To have a buddy or to be a buddy IS NOT COMPULSORY. However, it is an opportunity to engage in conversation with someone on the other side of the world whose health care resources may be different but whose ideas of how to cope may be inspirational and enlightening. At the same time your ideas and your resources might assist someone on the other side of our planet and change their life for the better.
Because communication has become borderless and fast, thanks to the internet and social media, having a conversation with someone halfway around the world is easy. Originally based on the concept of having a "pen pal" the WPC Buddy program is new to the Congress and one we hope delegates will find valuable leading up to the Congress and well afterward when they return home.
This concept of global sharing is the very premise on which the World Parkinson Coalition was founded back in 2004. What better way to reach out to those who may be attending from all parts of the world, than by offering to be a Buddy?
How does the Parkinson's Buddies Program work?
The WPC Buddies Program enables Canadians with Parkinson's to act as a point of contact, introduction and camaraderie for others coming to the Congress. The program is being coordinated with the help of Parkinson Society Canada. Buddies will be matched based on common interests. Once you have registered for the Congress, you will be asked if you would like to participate in the Buddies program.
Participants complete a short online survey to capture relevant information such as:
- Age & Gender
- Level/ stage of Parkinson's/ number of years since diagnosis
- Languages spoken
Who can apply to be a Buddy?
You MUST be registered for the WPC 2013 to be a Parkinson's Buddy.
- A Person
with Parkinson's registered for the Congress can be a "buddy" with a Person with
Parkinson's from another part of the world
- A Care Partner* registered for the Congress can be a "buddy" with another Care Partner
- A Person
with Parkinson's and his/her care partner, who are both registered for the Congress can be a team of "buddies" with another Person with Parkinson's and his/her care partner, who are registered for the Congress. If you are a couple, around the age of
40, and one of you has been diagnosed with Parkinson's for let's say 3 years,
you will not be matched with a couple in their 70s, where one person has had
Parkinson's for 15 years.
*WHO IS A CARE PARTNER?
A care partner is anyone,
no matter what age, who is a partner, a relative or a friend traveling to
Montreal with a Person With Parkinson's.
How to apply to be a Parkinson's Buddy?
Once you register for the Congress, you will be asked if you would like to participate in the Buddies Program. If you indicate YES, in the registration confirmation email you will find a link to the Parkinson's Buddies Program application page to sign up to be a buddy. Once you have completed the application form, you will be contacted by the Buddies Program Coordinator.
Why be a part of the Parkinson's Buddies Program?
- Meet others in the Parkinson's community from around the world
- Learn how they cope and discover potential new ideas and strategies for living day to day with Parkinson's
- Engage in dialogue about Parkinson's before, during and after the Congress
- Be part of the Global community
About Bill Sloan
Parkinson’s Buddies Coordinator
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008, Bill
Sloan, 48, has been a speaker for Parkinson Society Canada (Central &
Northern Ontario Region), educating the general public about what it’s like to
live with Parkinson’s. He also raises funds during the annual
April tulip sales campaign. He is an avid runner, having run nine marathons, and
has written about the benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s.
An accountant by profession, Bill was a
former Treasury Manager for a multinational auto part manufacturing operation
on three continents. Because of his medical history, (at the age of six, Bill
suffered a stroke,) Bill retired in 2009.
is married with two daughters (ages six and nine). Now a stay at home dad, Bill
runs the household, does volunteer work, runs two to three times a week, swims,
lifts weights and takes yoga classes.