In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, UPWalker sponsored and took part in the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego “Step by Step” 5K event. The Association offers critical resources to individuals with Parkinson’s disease, as well as families and caregivers affected by Parkinson’s. Services provided by PASD include resource identification, support, education, training and other Parkinson’s disease service-based programs. The event raised more than $70,000 to support these important programs.
For those just learning about Parkinson’s, this disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder which involves the malfunction of vital nerve cells in the brain. PD is most known for causing tremors, instability and slowed mobility, leading to severe challenges with several ADL’s (activities of daily living), with walking being one of the most visible and isolating.
In addition to supporting the event as a Bronze Sponsor, the UPWalker team brought a selection of demo UPWalker units to the event, so those who might be reluctant to walk in the 5K with their unsteady canes or uncomfortable rollators could join their families and friends in the Parkinson’s community, walking with purpose, walking together.
The result was inspiring, with the joyful rediscovery of walking freedom, stability and fun unfolding right before our eyes.
We heard so many stories of daily mobility challenges, and watched smiles of relief emerge while trying the UPWalker. While some examples of the feedback we received are shared below, this gratifying day can’t be adequately described in words; perhaps a video would better share the experience.
Please enjoy the Video below!
Throughout the event, attendees would approach our UPWalker booth, walking unsteadily across the grass with canes or leaning heavily on hands and wrists with a traditional rollator, their faces showing distress and discomfort, often accompanied by concerned family members or dear friends. We explained and demonstrated the simple design of the UPWalker, with its wider base and the user centrally-located for stability, body weight partially off-loaded on the armrests, and the way it enables an upright walking posture which we’re all naturally designed for. Eyebrows raised, everyone wanted to try one, and what followed was truly special.
Painful expressions changed to faces filled with revitalized smiles, and for most, we didn’t need to explain how to walk with the UPWalker at all. New users took hold of the hand grips, settled their elbows on the armrests, and then intuitively took off across the grass to explore the Expo grounds at normal walking speed with ease.
One lovely woman approached with a cane in one hand, and a cast on the other (she’d suffered recent falls while walking). She put aside her cane, and not only did she easily walk in the UPWalker, she was tickled to find that the UPWalker includes a built-in seat. She said, “All the time when I’m out with the grandchildren at Disneyland, Sea World or the Zoo, I need a place to sit when I get tired, and I don’t always have it…this will be so great!”
The leader of one of the Parkinson’s foundations in the Eastern U.S. approached using a rollator, in the hunched-over, uncomfortable posture rollators typically generate. He tried the UPWalker, and immediately walked off with little effort, returning a few minutes later nodding with a grin. His wife remarked that she thought the price of the UPWalker was very affordable compared to other products she’s recommended for friends with Parkinson’s.
A nice gentleman, walking with two canes, shared with us that a large hospital held exercise classes for Parkinson’s patients, and he’d seen that some were beginning to show up with their UPWalkers to use in class! He walked the 5K with us in an UPWalker, enjoying the freedom of participating with fellow members, friends and family in the PD community.
A loving granddaughter exclaimed, “This UPWalker will be life-changing for my Grandmother! At this stage of her life, she doesn't go outside the house for fear of falling."
Thank you to all who joined us from San Diego and afar in support of the Parkinson’s Association 5K. Together, we’re helping thousands of families and caregivers affected by Parkinson’s, step by step.
To lend your support to the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego, please visit: http://parkinsonsassociation.org/ or visit your local Parkinson’s organization.
If you'd like to learn more about how the UPWalker can help your loved ones with Parkinson’s rediscover walking capabilities and a more active, healthier lifestyle, we'd be happy to help you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to order or if you'd like to order by phone, you can call toll-free at 1-800-716-3185.