Pirates for Parkinson's
Parkinson’s New Zealand
15 September 2009
Pirates for Parkinson’s
On Sunday 20th September, Wellington will be home to one of 50 ‘Pirates for Parkinson's’ walks taking place around the world. Thirty people aged between 5 and 64 will be participating, and have so far raised over $2000 for Parkinson’s New Zealand.
The walks are the brainchild of Irishman Bryn Williams who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2007 aged 36, and are planned to coincide with ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’ – a day to promote pirate-speak. Wellingtonian Val Spooner, a good friend of Bryn’s, took up the cause locally and is organising the Wellington Pirates for Parkinson’s.
Bryn’s goals are to increase awareness of the condition and raise funds towards Parkinson’s research. “By bringing people from around the world to dress as pirates and walk together on the same day, I hope to spread the word about Parkinson’s and have a bit of fun along the way.” says Bryn.
“Bryn's a great mate, kind of bloke who would always be there for you regardless,” says Val “so with the help of others we are going to raise awareness about Parkinson's over this side of the world.”
Walks are being held in locations including: Johannesburg, the French Pyrenees, Hong Kong, Texas and Aberdeen. The Wellington Pirates will be on parade at the Pelorus Trust Fun Run and Walk in Lower Hutt, and funds raised will go to Parkinson’s New Zealand and their Wellington division. The Society provides information, support and Field Officers for people affected by Parkinson’s.
The walks are also being welcomed by the crew at International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Co-founder Mark Summers (or Cap’n Slappy) said "When we heard that Bryn would be holding Pirates for Parkinson's walks all over the world on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we were mighty pleased to say ‘Good on ye! Let’s rid the seas o' Parkinson's and leave pirates to wobble only to the effects o' too much rum!’”