Gordon and Diane Buchanan
With roots in the lumber industry, Gordon was passionate about innovative approaches to enhance industry and environmental processes. He was dedicated to giving back more than he took. In the lumber industry, he committed to planting and caring for seven trees for every one cut down – a philosophy he extended to every facet of his life.
Gordon was diagnosed with Parkinson disease in 1999. When he was first diagnosed, the Buchanan’s knew very little about the disease. The more they researched, the more they worried: treatment and support seemed bleak at best.
Diane watched as the most important person in her life began too slip away. When his world changed, hers did too. Gordon’s mobility, speech, and ability to write were all taken away. Suddenly, the Buchanans were no longer able to travel, to play sports, to communicate with close friends and family. Gordon became trapped in his own body while Diane searched desperately for ways to help him.
It was when Gordon fell and broke a rib, then contracted pneumonia that they decided to find a way to create a better life for people living with Parkinson’s. The Buchanans learned that through programs physical, speech and occupational therapy, and connecting with other families navigating Parkinson’s, could help elongate life, increase quality of life and help Gordon stay comfortably at home.
They also learned care depends on caregivers – educating families and care partners plays an important role in providing quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s. Alongside education and training, though, is a need for reprieve for family members and care partners – support and opportunities for respite so they, too, can care for their own needs and wellbeing.
With an unparalleled legacy of giving back, Gordon and Diane have dedicated their efforts to raising awareness and funds to support others living with Parkinson’s. The Buchanan Centre will stand as Gordon’s legacy, but more than that it will stand as a beacon of hope for Albertans suffering from Parkinson’s. This is more than a place to learn and thrive, it is a place to be well, to gather with a likeminded community, and to create the best life possible while living with Parkinson’s.