At 46 years old, you find your life turned upside down by three little words, ‘You have Parkinson’s’. How does one move beyond the debilitating diagnosis of a chronic disease to live life to the full? I have discovered three other words that, when taken together, have changed everything, ‘Live Your Best’! At the insistence of my wife, and two years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, my son and I applied for, were accepted to and won season one of The Amazing Race Canada. How does one go from a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease to winning a gruelling, travel adventure, reality television show? You learn to Live Your Best.
When we come to understand that having the strength to simply do our best will always be enough, when we uncover the courage to be content with what our best produces and when we discover that perseverance is a skill that can be learned, we will experience more joy and success in life than we ever imagined. In this session, you will learn from a veteran speaker and Tedx presenter how to meet a challenging life event like a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and still succeed. Drawing on my 20+ years as a Registered Nurse and now 7+ years as a person with Parkinson’s we will discover together how to Live Your Best.
Speaker & Author
Executive Director, U-Turn Parkinson’s
Co-Founder, The PD Avengers
Dr. Ayas completed his Master's Degree in Public Health, specializing in Hospital Administration, at the University of Alberta and worked briefly in hospital administration at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Misericordia Hospital. He was awarded the national scholarship from the Canadian College of Health Service Executives but declined it to attend medical school at the University of Calgary. Completed a residency in rural family medicine at U of A (Red Deer site) in 2005. He worked briefly for two years doing rural family medicine locums, urgent care, psychiatry extender shifts at FMC/PLC, and locums at Centennial Centre Ponoka. He went back to school to complete a psychiatry residency at the University of Calgary, and was Chief Resident in 2010. Graduated with his psychiatric fellowship in 2011. Currently staff at the Claresholm Centre for Mental Health and Addictions (CCMHA), Carnat Centre psychosis day hospital, Edgewood Health Network, and a variety of rural mental health clinics. He is the Section Chief responsible for Addictions, Claresholm, and outpatient services in Calgary, with frequent media and government requests for expert consultation. He teaches students, residents, physicians, and multidisciplinary staff often; and has been blessed to have been granted multiple teaching awards, including the 2021 National COUPE Early Educator Award. He has multiple administrative roles in education as the Clerkship Director at the University of Calgary and as the Scientific Co-chair of the annual Alberta Psychiatric Association Conference in Banff. He is a goalie for two separate ball hockey leagues as they usually put the oddball guys in net. He lives on an acreage west of High River with his wife, who is a rural family doctor, and his five very young children who love to keep him in a constant state of sleep deprivation. In addition, since the pandemic, home schooling them has been an absolute pleasure, and by pleasure, I mean of course an unmitigated disaster.
Dr. Michael Ellis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Section of Neurosurgery at the University of Manitoba. He is the Medical Director of the Pan Am Concussion Program, a multi-disciplinary program that provides care to pediatric patients with concussion and traumatic brain injuries living in Manitoba, northwestern Ontario and central Nunavut. He is the co-chair of the expert advisory committee on concussion for Parachute. His research focuses on the multi-disciplinary clinical management of pediatric concussion with a special interest in using telemedicine to deliver care to medically underserved remote and isolated communities in Canada.
Dr. Giammarco is an Associate Clinical Professor at McMaster University. She is the founder and director of the Hamilton headache clinic. Dr. Giammarco is also a member of the Canadian Headache Society and Staff Neurologist at St Joseph’s Hospital Hamilton, (with a special interest in headache). She is a graduate of McMaster University Medical School, and completed her Neurology residency, at the University of Toronto, and has been involved in numerous clinical trials for headache.
Dr. Jonathan Gabor is a specialist in general internal medicine with post-graduate subspecialty training and expertise in several areas of cardiometabolic disease including heart failure, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, obesity pharmacotherapy, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and obstructive sleep apnea. He is board-certified in obesity from the American Board of Obesity Medicine, a Specialist in Clinical Hypertension from the American Society of Hypertension, and a Specialist in Heart Failure from the European Society of Cardiology. He continues to participate in knowledge dissemination and guideline development, serving on subcommittees of the Canadian Heart Failure Society, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Obesity Canada, the U.S. National Lipid Association, the European Society of Cardiology, the advisory board of the U.S. Cardiometabolic Health Congress, and the guidelines development committee of Hypertension Canada. He is one of the authors of the national hypertension 2020 guidelines update, including the chapter on the diagnosis and management of resistant hypertension. He is member of the national scientific committee of Obesity Canada and the Chair of its Winnipeg chapter. Dr. Gabor is a representative of the Canadian NASH network, a national collaboration of health care professionals with an interest in advocacy, education, and clinical research in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Lastly, he is also a member of the scientific committee of the 2022 Canadian Cardiovascular Harmonized Guidelines Endeavour, with the mandate to harmonize and combine the numerous national guidelines including those pertaining to obesity, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and heart failure.
Staff Clinical Immunologist and Allergist in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at St. Michaels Hospital
A Lecturer of Medicine at University of Toronto where she is actively involved in undergraduate and residency teaching
Completed residency in Internal Medicine at Queen's University and fellowship in Clinical Immunology and Allergy at University of Toronto
Works at St. Michael's Hospital and at other offices in Toronto
Tammy Pham is a Board Member of Dying with Dignity Canada where she has been a volunteer since 2014. She founded the first and only campus chapter at the University of Ottawa in 2015 to educate young adults on end-of-life rights, issues, and medical assistance in dying (MAiD). Currently, she volunteers with the Winnipeg Chapter providing educational presentations on MAiD. She obtained her Master in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) at the University of Manitoba in 2019 and has been working in the field of neurology. Tammy is also a researcher with a publication on end-of-life communication and decision-making.