PEI

Parkinson's tip-to-tip ride confronts stereotypes

Ride also raised more than $6,000

Natasha McCarthy

Natasha McCarthy crosses the finish line in Elmira. (Submitted by Natasha McCarthy)

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Three Prince Edward Islanders with Parkinson's have completed an across-the-province bike ride, striking a blow against stereotypical images of the disease.

Natasha McCarthy organized the trip to encourage her friend, Dan Steele, who also has Parkinson's, to get back to a sport he loves. They were joined by fellow Parkinson's sufferer Paul Bernard and others along the way.

McCarthy said she pushed her limits of what she thought she could do, and she hopes their journey will send a message to others of what people with Parkinson's are capable of.

McCarthy hopes to change the stereotype of the disease.

Parkinson's ride

The team poses before starting their ride in Tignish. (Submitted by Natasha McCarthy)

"It's always this old man that's hunched over and shaking, and that's the image that people have in their minds about Parkinson's, and that's not what Parkinson's looks like," she said.

"There's women with it, there's young people — I'll be 40 in October — there's lots of us that have young onset Parkinson's. We just don't fit that image that people have in their heads."

It took the group five days —  including travelling through torrential rain on Friday — to cycle the 273 kilometres on the Confederation Trail from Tignish to Elmira.

They raised more than $6,000 for programs for Islanders living with Parkinson's disease.

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