Congratulations to Soania Mathur, recipient of the 2020 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award
Dr. Soania Mathur is a family physician living outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada who resigned her clinical practice twelve years following her diagnosis of Young Onset Parkinson's Disease at age 28. Now she is a dedicated speaker, writer, educator, and Parkinson's advocate. She speaks passionately about the challenges of adjusting physically and emotionally to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and the coping strategies available to patients.
Dr. Mathur is an active speaker in Canada and internationally at patient-directed conferences and has authored a number of published papers and online pieces that focus on patient education and empowerment. Her advocacy work also focuses on clinical trials and the importance of the patient voice and involvement in research.
She joined the Patient Council of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2010 and has served as Co-Chair for the last four years. She is also a new member of the Executive Science Advisory Board at MJFF. Supportive of other organizations she also devotes time as a member of Board of Directors at The Davis Phinney Foundation, is part of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, serves on The Brian Grant Foundation Advisory Board and the Medical Advisory Board for Parkinson Canada and also works with Parkinson’s Movement UK and Cure Parkinson’s Trust on North American initiatives. Dr. Mathur has valued her involvement with World Parkinson Congress as both a speaker and committee member and was awarded the World Parkinson Coalition Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson’s Community at the WPC held in Kyoto, Japan last year. Locally she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Lakeridge Health Foundation and also sits on the Patient Advisory Board for the Toronto Western Hospital Movement Disorder Clinic.
She is the founder of Unshakeable MD which was initially created to raise funds directed towards research and awareness of Parkinson's disease and now serves as a platform to educate and inspire those living with this disease to take charge of their lives, to live well with Parkinson's.
Dr. Mathur has a special interest in helping educate the youngest affected by the stress of this chronic disease. To help facilitate dialogue between children and their loved ones, she has authored two books: “My Grandpa’s Shaky Hands” and “Shaky Hands A Kid’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease”. All proceeds from the sales of these books are donated back to support Parkinson’s research and other efforts that serve the PD community.
In her words, “We may not have a choice in our diagnosis but how we face the challenges this disease brings, is ours to determine.”