The Stop Parkinson Walk has raised approximately 320,000 euros for research against Parkinson’s disease. In 49 days, the entire Belgian border was dismantled, good for about 1,500 kilometers. Due to a corona infection, initiator Ivo de Bisschop had to miss the last stage.
Ivo de Bisschop was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 62. The driving force soon found that research into the condition is not a priority for pharmaceutical companies. That is why he wants to collect money through the non-profit organization Stop Parkinson in order to force a quick breakthrough. In Belgium, about 35,000 people live with the disease for which there is still no cure.
On Sunday 23 August, the Bisschop left at 9 am with his comrade Wouter Degraeve in Ostend towards Knokke. The next month and a half they walked the entire Belgian border with varying team members. Unfortunately, the Bishop was unable to cover the very last kilometers himself. After a high-risk contact, the initiator and a team member both took a positive corona test on Saturday morning. They immediately went into quarantine. Degraeve and the other team members tested negative and walked the last stage from De Panne to Ostend as planned.
“Of course it is a downer for Ivo, but I wouldn’t call this an ending in a minor key. He is not showing any symptoms at the moment, so that’s good news, ”says Stop Parkinson’s Johan Ceuppens. The Bishop was still involved in the tour via Facetime on Saturday. Moreover, his place in the last ten kilometers from Middelkerke was taken by his wife.
In total, the Stop Parkinson Walk has already brought in 320,000 euros, but that amount can increase through an auction campaign, among other things. More than 3,500 people bought steps and well-known Flemish people such as Kurt Rogiers, Chris Lomme and Marijn Devalck also supported the initiative. The proceeds will support four research projects.