Friendships blossom in fight against little-known disease

Photo: Sarah Buekert (left) and Trinda Tarling embrace outside of Fort St. John City Hall on Monday, after receiving a proclamation deeming March as Parkinson’s Awareness Month – Christine Rumleskie/


By Christine Rumleskie



Two Fort St. John women have cemented their friendship, through their battle against a debilitating disease.

Sarah Buekert was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1995, and so formed the Fort St. John Parkinson’s Support Group in 2002.

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Six years later, local nurse and mother of four, Trinda Tarling, discovered she developed Parkinson’s. Feeling alone in her battle, Tarling joined the support group.

Tarling says the disease is terrifying at times, because there is no cure, and there’s no way to permanently suppress the symptoms.

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With the help of a few other local Parkinson’s sufferers, the group spearheaded the city’s first ever SuperWalk for Parkinson’s last year. More than $5,500 was raised, which helped bring a facilitator to the area for education courses and support.

Buekert says the money also goes to the Parkinson Society of British Columbia, which is trying to find a cure for Parkinson’s.

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The pair approached Fort St. John City Council on Monday night, to request that March be proclaimed as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

Council unanimously supported that proclamation.

Buekert says everyone is welcome to the informal Parkinson’s meetings. She says anyone affected by the disease shouldn’t feel alone, and encourages the community to contact her at 250-784-7348, or to contact Trinda Tarling at 250-787-2649.

The next SuperWalk is scheduled for September.

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