Man With Parkinson's Disease Knows No Borders

Harry McMurtry Walks 500 Miles from NYC to TO Raising Awareness and Funds for PD

NEW YORK and TORONTO, May 6, 2016 /CNW/ - Tomorrow, Harry McMurtry will commence his 500 mile walk from New York City to his hometown, Toronto, to raise money for Parkinson's research.

As Harry has Parkinson's disease, walking up to 15 miles a day for over 45 days is a tremendous challenge and one that would not have been possible without funding that lead to research and discoveries that Harry has been fortunate enough to have access to as the disease's defining characteristics are its effect on physical motor skills and agility.

Harry will be joined by two other walkers, Sue Thompson and Dr. Ross Sugar both of whom also suffer from Parkinson's disease to show their gratitude but raise awareness and funds to help the over 6.3 million people worldwide who suffer from the degenerative disease.

The project has already garnered a lot of media and celebrity attention with honorary patrons like hockey all-star Wayne Gretzky, Olympic athletes Adam van Koeverden and Ashley Holzer, rocker Tom Cochrane, fashion icon Jeanne Beker and other celebrities pledging their support.

Over the course of the 500Mile walk, the crew will be stopping to make school visits to engage and educate students about the disease and give them a chance to meet and walk with the crew as they pass through upstate New York before crossing over into Canada and finally arrive in Toronto June 20th.

The kick off gala tonight at the beautiful Glasshouses space (in the Chelsea Arts tower) will host a handful of special guests all convening to celebrate and send off the 500Miles team before their departure tomorrow morning.

One community along the route has already filed a municipal proclamation to officially make June 13th "Parkinson's Disease Awareness Day" in recognition of the project passing through.

Those interested in pledging support, making donations, or participating in the school program can find out more at

he proceeds from the 500 Miles for Parkinson's bi-national project will be pooled andthen shared amongst three beneficiaries: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research; The Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network; Mount Sinai Beth Israel Movement Disorders Center in New York

Students, sponsors, donors and the public can follow the walk through social media:
TWITTER: @ShakyHarry

Parkinson's disease is a chronic, degenerative, neurological condition. The primary symptoms of the disease are: tremor, rigidity, slowed movement (bradykinesia) and impaired balance (postural instability).

It is estimated that at least one million people in the United States, 100,000 in Canada, and more than 6.3 million worldwide, have Parkinson's disease. As the population ages, these figures will rise.

SOURCE Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

Image with caption: "500 Miles for Parkinson's (CNW Group/Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation)". Image available at:

For further information: For media and interview inquiries please contact; For Toronto media inquiries, contact Nadine Hubert at

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