Market Overview

Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist Lends Voice to Parkinson's Issues as Spokesperson for Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 24, 2012) - Parkinson's disease strikes young and old. It is a global health issue, with an estimated 10 million people diagnosed worldwide. Over 100,000 Canadians are affected. So are their 400,000 family members.

Saphia Khambalia's grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2008. Since then, Saphia, a journalist with CityNews, has become acutely aware of the challenges her grandfather faces and the strain that a Parkinson's diagnosis places on an entire family. This is why Saphia is excited to take on the role of spokesperson for Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario.

"I've seen first-hand the impact Parkinson's can have on individuals and families. In three short years, my grandfather has gone from being able to live in his own home, to moving to a more manageable apartment, to requiring help with the simplest tasks. After a series of falls, scares and long hospital stays, 24-hour care has become a necessity," says Saphia. "It hasn't been easy to watch the man who had led our family for so long, achieved great accolades in society now fighting against the physical decline of Parkinson's. But, I'm here to say this disease is NOT a death sentence. We are happy to see my grandfather adjusting well to life in a nursing home, getting great care so he can keep living an active life, as everyone with Parkinson's should."

"These are the kinds of issues that I think I can help bring greater understanding to, in my roles as a spokesperson for Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario and as a journalist with CityNews," says Saphia.

"I hope that my involvement will bring heightened awareness of Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario, its events, and Parkinson's disease, in general. I look forward to working closely with staff and volunteers on the Hope in Bloom Spring Tulip Campaign, Cut-a-thon for Parkinson's, annual Parkinson SuperWalk and other events in support of the Society," says Saphia. "I have made a commitment to bring media coverage to these events and to relevant issues and news about Parkinson's," she adds.

"At Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario, we are thrilled to have Saphia Khambalia's support," says Debbie Davis, Chief Executive Officer, Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario. "We appreciate the challenges that families face following a Parkinson's diagnosis and we hope that Saphia's involvement will encourage individuals and families to come forward to take advantage of the extensive support and services we offer."

About Saphia Khambalia

Saphia Khambalia's reports can be seen on CityNews, CityNews Channel, and heard on 680News, Toronto's only All News radio station. Saphia was honoured with one of the prestigious Joan Donaldson Scholar Awards in 2009.

About Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario

Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario is a regional partner of Parkinson Society Canada, with a mission to provide support services, education, and advocacy for people with Parkinson's and their caregivers, and funding for research. Services are provided to a large geographic area from the Niagara region to Kingston and all of Northern Ontario, with 50 chapter and support groups spread throughout the region.

Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario offers an Information and Referral Line at 1-800-565-3000 ext. 3372 or 416-227-3372 or via e-mail at Through this valuable service, over 6,000 e-mails and phone calls are answered each year, providing individualized responses, customized information packages, emotional support, and referrals to appropriate community resources. Educational materials are available in other languages including French, Punjabi, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and German. Visit for more information.

Media Contact:
Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario
Jon Collins, Manager of Programs and Events

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