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Gitta Frazer, who has Parkinson’s disease, will participate in the race her son Mitch Frazer, right, has organized in honour of her 70th birthday.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

The Donor: Mitch Frazer

The Gift: $24,000 and climbing

The Cause: North York General Hospital, Toronto

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The Reason: To finance the hospital's Parkinson's programs

Mitch Frazer knew he wanted to do something special for his mother on her 70th birthday in May, but an elaborate gift or fancy dinner wouldn't do. Instead, he organized a charity run to raise money for a Parkinson's disease clinic at North York General Hospital.

"Five years ago, my mum was diagnosed with Parkinson's and this is a disease that took her mother several years ago as well," said Mr. Frazer, a lawyer in Toronto with Torys LLP, who also is vice-chairman of the hospital's foundation.

"Gitta's Race," named after Mr. Frazer's mother, will take place in North York on her birthday, May 4. The event will include a five-kilometre run and a 500-metre walk.

More than $24,000 has already been committed and Mr. Frazer is hoping to raise $30,000.

The donations will help to refurbish an exercise room in the Parkinson's clinic at the hospital and create an endowment for future programs.

The clinic provides therapeutic care for people with Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects about one out of every 100 people.

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"The plan is do this as an initial event and figure out different types of events ongoing," he added.

Mr. Frazer said about 100 people will participate, including his mother. "She's going to be there," he said. "She always has great spirit and she just loves the idea."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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