Imagine, you are a fully-functioning, contributing member of society. You work, you have a rich family life, you contribute to your community, and now you have just been told you have a brain condition – perhaps ALS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

You feel impossibly alone, and utterly helpless. But, tragically, you have just joined the ranks of 5.5 million Canadians who live with a brain disease, disorder or injury.

The fear is overwhelming, paralysing, because your condition strikes your brain, the organ that keeps you alive, the physical structure that makes you who you are. The fear is overpowering because you understand that if your brain does not work properly, every aspect of your life may be compromised – loving, talking, walking – and because you understand there are no cures, and no effective treatments that will consistently slow or stop your disease. Continue reading….

About the Author
Kirsty Duncan is a Liberal member of parliament (Etobicoke North) and critic for the Environment. She has a Ph.D. in geography (University of Edinburgh, 1992) and has taught meteorology, climatology, and climate change at the University of Windsor, corporate social responsibility and medical geography at the University of Toronto and global environmental processes at Royal Roads University. She served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization that won the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore and is the author of Hunting the 1918 Flu: One Scientist’s Search for a Killer Virus (University of Toronto Press, 2003), and Environment and Health: Protecting our Common Future (2008).