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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
January 24, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Headlines (News Releases)

Future Students - International

Laurier and Parkinson Society mark World Parkinson’s Day with event at research centre

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Apr 5/12| For Immediate Release


Quincy Almeida, Associate Professor and Director
Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre
519-884-0710 ext. 3924 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – A colourful event featuring a “human tulip” made up of 150 Parkinson’s supporters carrying red and white balloons will be held at Wilfrid Laurier University April 10 to mark Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

The event is being held at the university’s Sun Life Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC), and is co-hosted by Laurier and the Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario.

“Parkinson’s Disease is unfortunately on the rise in Canada and worldwide, and has impacted many families across Waterloo Region,” said Quincy Almeida, director of the MDRC, which studies the disease and assists numerous people who have Parkinson’s with rehabilitation programs. “This is an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease, and we’re thrilled that the Parkinson Society has chosen to mark World Parkinson’s Day at Laurier.”

After forming an image of the “Parkinson tulip,” which has become an international symbol of the devastating neurodegenerative disease, the participants will cap the display by releasing their helium-filled balloons into the sky.

The event will also feature remarks by Shelley Ralf of the Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario, as well as an announcement regarding Parkinson’s research at Laurier.

“We’re very excited to be able to partner with MDRC on this event,” said Ralf, the group’s manger of special events. “We’ve worked together closely over the years and share many of the same clients, so being able to partner on an event to increase awareness of the disease in the Kitchener-Waterloo community is really special.”

The red and white Parkinson tulip was developed in 1980 by J.W.S. Van der Wereld, a Dutch horticulturalist who had Parkinson’s Disease. Van der Wereld named his award-winning tulip in 1981, in recognition of Dr. Parkinson’s work on the disease and to honour the International Year of the Disabled.

The April 10 event takes place one day prior to World Parkinson’s Day, which is held annually on April 11, Dr. Parkinson’s birthday. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. in the gymnasium of the MDRC, which is located at 66 Hickory Ave. West in Waterloo, Ontario. Free parking is available at the rear of the building.


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