Still Headroom: Parkinson’s and the Power of Care


A love story about dementia, caregiving and art: Join us at the Revue Cinema on Saturday, Nov. 26, 11:30am, for a short documentary and panel discussion about how one couple is coping with a devastating neuro-degenerative disease. In 2014, former judge Kevin Whitaker was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body dementia. He embraced painting, raising $200,000 for Parkinson’s research through the sale of his art. Now his wife, Marie Moliner, a lawyer and retired civil servant, is his full-time caregiver. She has relentlessly recorded their journey, sharing their pain, humour and moments of joy. Her videos form the basis of this short documentary. Following the screening, a panel of experts in the fields of neurocognitive research and caregiving will discuss the challenges of living with dementia. At 1pm, Kevin’s ninth painting exhibit opens at Back Lane Studios (https://backlanestudios.ca), steps from the Revue.



DETAILS

The Story: What would you do if you received the devastating diagnosis of Parkinsons’s and Lewy Body Dementia? Kevin Whitaker, a former judge who learned he had the disease in 2014, and his partner Marie Moliner, a now retired lawyer and civil servant, transformed their lives, embracing creativity with new purpose. It has also meant learning to cope with declining mobility and cognitive impairment. Kevin, with Marie’s support, has been able to develop his talent for painting, raising $200,000 for research through the sale of his work. His ninth exhibit in five years opens at nearby Back Lane Studios following the screening at the Revue. At every step along the way, Marie, now Kevin’s full-time caregiver, has chronicled the pain, humour and struggle of coping with the debilitating illness, sharing her videos and comments on social media.

The Documentary:

Filmmakers Jeana McCabe and Jordan McTavish have taken much of Marie’s video footage and woven it into a new 24-minute documentary Still Headroom: Parkinson’s & the Power of Care. While the film reveals the suffering and difficulties faced by the couple, it also highlights the joy and the mutual love and respect they share. Watch the trailer here.

The Panel:

Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion about the role caregivers play in the “treatment” of patients and families living with dementia. Veteran medical journalist Avis Favaro will moderate the panel, while participants bring experience in caregiving and a deep knowledge of neurocognitive disease:

  • Ron Beleno, caregiver advocate who looked after his father, who had Alzheimer’s, for the last 10 years of his life.
  • Dr. Mario Masselis, neurologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
  • Dr. Ana Luiza Pinto Oliveira, research fellow whose work has been supported in part by Kevin Whitaker’s fundraising through the sale of his paintings.
  • Katie MacLean, social worker and lead on the Enhancing Care Project, Alzheimer’s Society, Toronto.

PRICING

Suggested Donation: $10.00 A Ticket


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