Medical Condition: Parkinson’s disease
Medical Therapy: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Charity: Parkinson Society Canada
David has lived with Parkinson’s disease since 1993. His Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) device allows him to function independently and devote his time and energy to helping others, specifically as a volunteer for the Parkinson Society Canada. “Working tirelessly, David traveled across Canada meeting with other volunteers to show them the value for people with Parkinson’s working together,” says Debbie Davis, CEO, Parkinson Society Central and Northern Ontario. “This inspirational work showed David’s passion and commitment to giving to the community while living well with Parkinson’s.”
“I have had Parkinson’s disease since 1993. Since implanted in 2011, my deep brain stimulator device has allowed me to function independently on a daily basis and, as a result, devote my time to my community and charitable work.
“I have been national chair of Parkinson Society Canada and was instrumental in bringing disparate Parkinson's organizations into a federation with one national voice. Parkinson Society Canada was a force behind the establishment of Neurological Health Charities Canada, which represents people with all neurological conditions.
“I have spoken to parliamentary committees, Parkinson's patients and volunteers across Canada. Parkinson Society Canada makes an annual David Simmonds Award to recognize outstanding volunteer leadership, and I received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for my work.
“I continue to write a weekly humor column for my local paper, the Wellington Times; play in a musical group called Station Road; and write and perform my own songs. I have released several CDs, one of which was recorded after my deep brain stimulation surgery. I believe I am an example of living well after DBS surgery and have made a difference with my volunteer commitments.”
“Wearing a burden gently and with humor can inspire others — both those with the same affliction who are fearful and those without it who gain an appreciation of its burdens.”
“I use my extra life to bring humor and music to my community, and hope to those similarly afflicted in Canada.”
Since 1965, Parkinson Society Canada (PSC) has been the national voice of Canadians living with Parkinson’s disease. For people affected by Parkinson’s, PSC guides the way in four key areas: research, education, advocacy and support. People who connect with PSC gain a better understanding of many aspects of living with this complex, chronic brain disease. David has volunteered with PSC for a number of years, serving as national chair and speaking to many Parkinson’s patients and volunteers across Canada.