A Riverview, N.B. man, who lives with Parkinson’s disease, has raised over $25,000 to help others fighting the same battle.
Depending on how he feels, Ralph Richardson walks between six and 25 laps of his driveway every day in an effort to raise money for Parkinson Canada.
“He still is determined to keep walking, even though every step is an effort to keep going. He’s got more determination and tenacity than anybody I know,” says Ralph’s wife Berys Richardson.
Ralph’s fundraising campaign began back in March, with a goal to walk for 100 straight days and raise $100 each day.
Tuesday marked day 76 of Ralph’s 100-day pledge. The 79-year-old says some days are easier than others.
“I’m tired most of the time, but I feel quite good actually,” says Richardson.
To help Ralph reach his fundraising goal, a call went out among his fellow alumni of the former United Baptist Training School. On Tuesday, the group presented Ralph with a cheque for $3,115, pushing him past the $25,000 mark.
“The response was phenomenal, from B.C. to Nova Scotia money came in. There wasn’t a day that went by that there wasn’t something in the mail, there was just cheques, cheques, cheques coming in,” says Harold Cormier, with the United Baptist Training School Alumni Association.
Ralph’s story has spread across Canada, inspiring others to launch their own fundraising efforts and providing much needed funds for research and education.
“It’s a complex neurodegenerative disease and it will help us educate people on what the disease is and what the symptoms are and what the best treatment is for them,” says Ryan Underhill, the regional manager for Parkinson Canada.
Beyond the money raised, Berys says the best thing to come out of the process is the support and encouragement Ralph has received from around the globe.
“This has encouraged him, built him up, and really given him a whole new sense of determination to keep going. Words have power,” she says.