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Walker Feature: Fran Gordon

Fran Gordon suspected her husband Alan to have Parkinson’s disease twenty-seven years ago.  Fran and a doctor noted that he was not picking up his feet while he was walking. Other doctors later confirmed this diagnosis in both Owen Sound and London – it was in fact PD.

Before joining Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario, they knew very little about the disease. Fran shares that she and Alan have learned so much about Parkinson’s and the diversity of symptoms people experience. Alan’s form of Parkinson’s is a prime example of how Parkinson’s affects everyone differently. Fran explained that while Alan does struggle very significantly with mobility, he has never had any issue with shaking, the cardinal symptoms most people associate with Parkinson’s.

The Gordon family has been extremely generous and have been involved in many fundraising and awareness-raising efforts for many years. Their family did not miss a single meeting and volunteered at all walk events. Interestingly enough, their son, a musician, has been providing the entertainment for the walk for many years! The family values Walk for Parkinson’s because it brings together community and families in a day of music, fun, and fundraising for a great cause. Additionally, the Gordon family organized a concert in a church that raised a great deal of money. Fran even did a talk on Rogers TV to promote awareness on Parkinson’s disease! The couple even graciously donated all money from the 60th wedding anniversary to the Parkinson’s Society. Their generosity does not go unnoticed, and it goes a very long way to helping their communities!

The Gordon Family continues to have some deep ties within Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario, even while living in a nursing home. Fran comments that she wishes the public knew more about Parkinson’s and was patient and understanding of those afflicted by the disease. She encourages people to read about Parkinson’s and get informed. Fran offers words of encouragement for people to get involved in local initiatives to help their communities. She remarks that getting involved allows you to share and hear other stories that inspire individuals to know they are not alone!