Liz Campbell Holroyd was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 52. Now she's organizing a fundraising walk in White Rock to help others with the disease.

Life throws South Surrey mom ‘curveball’ of Parkinson’s disease

Liz Campbell-Holroyd is organizing White rock's first fundraising walk for Parkinson Society BC.

One day around the time of the 2010 Olympics, Liz Campbell-Holroyd was reading a magazine that wouldn’t stay still. A tremor had started in her ring finger.

“When I saw that, I just thought: That’s not normal,” the South Surrey resident recounted.

A doctor would later confirm what she already suspected. At age 52, Campbell-Holroyd, a working professional and mother of six in a blended family, had Parkinson’s disease.

Now, she’s putting her energy into a cause to better the lives of the 13,300 British Columbians who live with the neurodegenerative brain disorder.

Before her diagnosis, Campbell-Holroyd had already read the books of Michael J. Fox – the Burnaby-raised actor diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 at age 29 after developing a finger tremor. So when she developed a tremor of her own, Campbell-Holroyd knew having the disease was a possibility.

She also thought it could be something worse.

“I tried to push that out of my mind for awhile and think of other things,” she said. “When (my doctor) said I had Parkinson’s, I was actually relieved. I felt I could at least manage it.”

Parkinson’s disease progresses slowly in most people and affects people in different ways, but common symptoms include tremors, stiffness, impaired balance and muscle rigidity. Other non-motor symptoms may develop as the disease progresses. There is no cure, but those with Parkinson’s can live long lives with the help of medication, therapy and even surgery.

Campbell-Holroyd’s diagnosis in September 2010 was a life-changer – the “curveball” people talk about.

After her tremor grew, becoming noticeable to colleagues, she told her boss but continued working until 2013. She loved her career in advertising, and at the time saw leaving work as giving in to the disease. She later realized putting her energy into herself – with the hope of slowing the progression of the disease – was the best move.

Now Campbell-Holroyd – who turns 58 this month – is on medication to mask tremors and remains positive. She’s also taking better care of herself than ever before.

“I had a very busy life. Nothing stopped me. I was constantly on the go,” she said. “Being diagnosed… really made me focus in on myself and my health, and taking care of me.”

She exercises regularly – running, walking, gym workouts, yoga – which helps manage symptoms and improves quality of life.

“They just can’t tell you how you are going to progress. They just don’t have any idea.”

In an effort to give back and help others with the disease, Campbell-Holroyd and her supporters have started a White Rock chapter of the Parkinson SuperWalk – the Parkinson Society BC’s largest fundraising event of the year.

On Sept. 11, walkers will gather at Kintec (15185 Russell Ave., across from the Whaling Wall) to give hope to the thousands in B.C. living with Parkinson’s. Money raised will help fund the society’s support services and education programs, as well as aid national research efforts. The society operates entirely on donations.

To register as an individual or team, or to sponsor a walker, visit superwalkbc.kintera.org. For more information on the White Rock walk, contact Campbell-Holroyd at 604-317-9599.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

Tardi earns first victory in quest for third national title

A Langley-based junior curling team is in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian championships.

VIDEO: Surrey-based business wants customers to ‘Eat the Dishes’

New business plans to be one of the ongoing vendors at KPU’s new winter market

Surrey hunter fined $10,000 after shooting a bull moose and leaving it to die

The man was convicted for three Wildlife Act offences after shooting a bull moose not in season

Tonight’s Surrey RCMP Classic final: Cloverdale and South Surrey school teams to battle

Elsewhere, Holy Cross boys team aims to win another BC Catholics championship on home court

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

VIDEO: Koch’s OT winner sends Giants to sixth straight victory

Three games, three cities, three victories for Lower Mainland-based G-Men’s major junior hockey team.

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Lower Mainland-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Most Read