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.

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stephanie Cadieux, recently re-elected as MLA for Surrey South, has been named BC Liberal Caucus Chair. (contributed photo)
Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux named Liberal caucus chair

Longtime MLA confident BC Liberals will present an effective opposition

The 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Mammography machine, new to the Surrey Breast Health Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (submitted photo)
New 3D breast-cancer technology in Surrey ‘has already helped so many women’

Digital breast tomosynthesis new to Surrey Breast Health Clinic

Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for ‘immediate’ government help for businesses shut down

‘Don’t punish all businesses for the sins of a few,’ CEO Anita Huberman says

Gurdawara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar in Surrey is warning the public of a possible COVID-19 exposure at the temple between Nov. 18 and 20. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey gurdwara warns of possible COVID-19 exposure

Facebook post says individual was at the temple Nov. 18 to 20

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

Most Read