Legal community coming together for Parkinson’s research

Members of Toronto’s legal community are coming together next week to help advance research into Parkinson’s disease.

“I understand a cure for Parkinson’s is not far off relative to other diseases. With additional funding for medical research, I think a cure is within our reach,” says Toronto employment lawyer Doug MacLeod, whose firm is a sponsor of the Shake it up for Parkinson’s event taking place on Sept. 6 in Toronto.

MacLeod is a longtime friend of Harry McMurtry, a fellow lawyer who recovered from brain surgery to treat Parkinson’s disease two years ago. Following his recovery, he came up with the idea for a fundraiser with friend Ian Hull of Hull & Hull LLP. “At that time, he said he needed to give back for what was clearly a miraculous operation,” says Hull. “He looked at me and said, ‘You know we are going to have to do something really big.’”

McMurtry put on a more intimate event last year attended by about 100 friends and family, according to MacLeod. The event, featuring a live performance from Tom Cochrane with friends Dala and Marc Jordan, has a goal to raise more than $100,000 for the Morton & Gloria Shulman movement disorders centre at the Toronto Western Hospital.

Hull, whose firm is also sponsoring the event, says McMurtry is now putting much of the energy he used to put into his legal practice into a new cause. “Harry worked at his busy civil litigation practice as long as he physically could and it wasn’t until the disease truly wore him out that he hung up the robes,” he says.

“He is now advocating for a cure for Parkinson’s as strongly as he did for his clients.”

The event takes place at the Capitol Event Theatre at 2492 Yonge St. in Toronto from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sept. 6. For more information, see shakeitupforparkinsons.com.

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