CD will raise money for research

Little known about degenerative brain disease

Life is full of irony.

 Kincardine business woman Janet Bannerman spent much of her adult life involved with mobility issues. She ran Community rehab and was on Kincardine’s accessibility committee.

Today, Janet uses the services she worked for while on the accessibility committee.

Now her four children – Mike, Scott and Danielle Bannerman and Melanie Carney – are working on mobility issues.

Janet Bannerman, in wheelchair, is surrounded by two of her children and their chilrden. On the left are Melanie Karney of Kincardine and her two children, Taylor, 4, and Cameron, 1. On the right are Michael Bannerman of Stratford and his three children, Caleb, 5, Meagan, 3, and Nathaniel, 10 months. (Eric Howald photo)

They have produced a CD to raise money for research for a disease that has put their mother in Trillium Court.

Four years ago Janet, Mrs. Don Bannerman, was an active member of the community, but she had a few falls and was losing her balance at times. Around Christmas of 2005, she was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a degenerative brain disease.

In fewer than four years, PSP disease has robbed Janet of her ability to walk, speak, eat and think clearly. She has been at Trillium Court since March.

The life expectancy of people with the disease is five years.

Michael remembers the news from the doctor when his mother was diagnosed with the disease. “We know very little about the disease. There is no real treatment for it and there is no cure.”

 It’s a difficult time for Janet and her family. Feeling helpless, they came up with the idea of the CD to raise money for research. Hopefully the project “will give back to families like ours,” says Michael.

The Thing With Feathers is a two-disc album featuring 21 songs played by high quality musical groups from around the world. Michael and Scott, both in the music business for many years, have songs on the album. Some  are by Juno Award winners and others are from  the UK where PSP is more common. The artists have all provided their recordings free of charge.

The music is pop rock, the kind you hear on FM 102 says Michael.

By making the CD, the Bannermans hope to publicize the disease and to raise $50,000 for PSP research. The  CD is available in Kincardine at Lakeview Dental, West Shore Clothing, and from Melanie Carney. You can also order it on line (google the name of the album).

Michael is hoping to have the artists on the CD in Kincardine for a concert in late November.

He is hoping that in the near future, afflicted families won’t hear the hopeless message the Bannermans heard three years ago. He is hoping they’ll hear something like this: There is a lot of good research on PSP. We understand it. There is treatment and most importantly…there is a cure.”

Wow. That truly is ironic.

Wow. That truly is ironic. How is it that someone who is SO devoted to mobility issues falls ill with debilitating conditions themselves? The world works in mysterious ways, I guess. Although, if anything positive can come from this story, it's that Janet raised two wonderful children. Not only is this album raising awareness for PSP, but for other mobility issues. For example, certain fixtures can be implemented to assist those with disabilities (ex: wheelchair lift, ramps, etc). I only wish the best for the Bannerman family and hope they're able to get their message across to as many people as possible.