Alberta resident cycles to Parksville from Calgary for Parkinson’s awareness

Mika Anderson raised close to $5,000 in honour of his dad who has Parkinson’s disease

Calgary resident Mika Anderson during a stop on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Anderson rode to Parksville from Calgary to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s Disease. — Submitted photo

Aiming to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease, Alberta resident Mika Anderson rode his bike to Parksville from Calgary in honour of his dad, Clifford Anderson.

The whole journey took Mika two weeks in which time he raised close to $5,000 for the Parkinson Society of British Columbia.

He left Calgary on June 21 and arrived in Parksville on July 2 at 6 p.m.

“It was absolutely an incredible adventure. There was lots of emotional ups and downs and lots of variable weather,” Mika said.

“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and this summer I had the opportunity.”

Clifford, who lives in Parksville with his wife Carol, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 18 years ago with symptoms that include tremors, reduced balance, fatigue, softer speech and more.

“The Parkinson Society of British Columbia has done lots to help improve (my dad’s) day-to-day life, so it was nice for me to be able to raise some funds and help give back to this great charity,” Mika said.

Mika said exercise has been a big help for his dad, specifically the Rock Steady Boxing program put on by Doug Pickard of Fluid Fitness in Parksville.

“My dad really appreciates that and loves getting out, it’s really good for him,” Mika said.

During his 1,200-km plus bike ride, Mika said the most interesting part was meeting people from all walks of life. He said the journey was an opportunity for him to reflect on the direction of his life.

“This was a great thing for me to do. It provided a lot of time for me to reflect on what I’m doing with my life and whether or not I want to continue on the same path,” he said.

Mika will catch a ride back to Calgary with his wife and kids who are meeting him in Parksville.

His donation page is still open and can be found at http://bit.ly/MikaRide2018.

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