Parkinson’s New Zealand
24 September 2009
Pirates for Parkinson’s
On Sunday 20th September, Wellington was home to one of 50 ‘Pirates for Parkinson's’ walks taking place around the
world. Thirty people aged between 5 and 64 participated, and raised over $4000 for Parkinson’s New Zealand.
The walks were the brainchild of Irishman Bryn Williams who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2007 aged 36, and
were planned to coincide with ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’ – a day to promote pirate-speak. Wellingtonian Val
Spooner, a good friend of Bryn’s, took up the cause locally and organised the Wellington Pirates for Parkinson’s.
Bryn’s goals are to increase awareness of the condition and raise funds towards Parkinson’s research. “By bringing
people from around the world to dress as pirates and walk together on the same day, I hope to spread the word about
Parkinson’s and have a bit of fun along the way.” says Bryn.
“Bryn's a great mate, kind of bloke who would always be there for you regardless,” says Val “so with the help of others
we are raising awareness about Parkinson's over this side of the world.”
The Wellington Pirates were on parade at the Pelorus Trust Fun Run and Walk in Lower Hutt, and it was a stunning day for
it. All the funds raised will go to Parkinson’s New Zealand and their Wellington division. The Society provides
information, support and Field Officers for people affected by Parkinson’s.
The walks were also warmly welcomed by the crew at International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Co-founder Mark Summers (or
Cap’n Slappy) said "When we heard that Bryn would be holding Pirates for Parkinson's walks all over the world on
International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we were mighty pleased to say ‘Good on ye! Let’s rid the seas o' Parkinson's and
leave pirates to wobble only to the effects o' too much rum!’”