A Toronto man’s marathon journey to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease is almost complete as he continues his trek home through Durham Region.
Harry McMurty would walk five hundred miles… and he would walk five hundred more just to be the man who walked a thousand miles to bring awareness of Parkinson’s disease to your door.
“I’m doing this for a number of reasons, the main one is to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease and to raise money for Parkinson research.”
Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common degenerative brain disorder. It affects an estimated 55,000 Canadians.
The 54 year old McMurty is a retired lawyer who is walking 500 miles from New York City to Toronto to raise money for research for the disease. He left on May 7th and is making his way through Durham Region Friday.
“I want to reduce the stigma attached to the disease and educate people about the symptoms and disease that remains in the shadows. We want people to live fulfilling lives and we hope we are examples of people living fulfilling lives.”
Harry was diagnosed in 2005. Friday was a special day on his journey since he wasn’t aware his family flew from across Canada to meet him for the final stretch of his walk.
“It’s emotional to see Harry at any point in the walk because those of us who have spent a lot of time with him know how difficult this is for him and how hard he is working every step and so the pride I have is just wells up when I see him.”
“We are enormously proud of him and delighted to participate.”
“It’s very exciting for the whole family that they are all behind him and he is got all of this support.”
“It’s been amazing that he has made the whole journey because it’s a lot of walking and hot days. He has done far better than we thought and he is almost home.”
In just 4 days his campaign 500 miles for Parkinson’s will wrap in Toronto with Toronto Mayor John Tory and Premier Kathleen Wynne welcoming him and his crew.
“It’s very exciting. The exhaustion it sort of overwhelms you but we are really excited about entering into Toronto.”
Those interested in walking along, pledging support or making donations can go to fivehundredmiles.org