The Steve Ludzik Foundation exists to provide assistance and support for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the Niagara region.
Over the past five years The Steve Ludzik Foundation has raised over $500,000 which supports the Parkinson community within the Niagara Region. Steve’s vision back in 2011 was to give back to the community through commitment, perseverance, philanthropy and teamwork. Like any team, it takes dedicated professionals and volunteers at the centre to make a difference.
About Parkinson's disease
Parkinson’s disease is complex disease that can affect almost every part of the body, ranging from how you move to how you feel, to how you think and process. But given the tools, people living with Parkinson’s and their families learn how to live well by staying positive, engaging in their own health, consistently exercising and making the commitment to take action.
He is recognized by some as the gritty former NHL player with the Chicago Black Hawks in the 1980’s. Others remember him as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, while many know him as the colorful multi media personality, who wrote a best selling autobiography "Been There Done That".
This is Steve Ludzik, and this is his story, and this is his mission.
At the age of 39, coaching in the NHL, Steve Ludzik was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but told no one about the affliction. Only his wife MaryAnn was privy to his inner turmoil.
After 10 years of suffering in silence, Steve Ludzik broke the news to the public, that he had indeed been suffering from Parkinson’s.
Mr. Ludzik was shocked to find that no rehabilitation clinics were available to Parkinson’s suffers. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, there was no one to construct a program that offered hope and knowledge to combat this lethal foe.
As Steve Ludzik was quoted at the time "if it’s going to be, it’s up to me".
With the help of local politicians, and the Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre, the Steve Ludzik Centre for Parkinson’s Rehab clinic was established six years ago. The clinic has revolutionized the way PD patient’s are treated and trained. It is no longer a death sentence to those who are diagnosed
The rehab is also free to any and all PD patients, and is funded by The Steve Ludzik Foundation which conducts many charity events to raise money for the clinic. The main event is the Ludzy’s celebrity roast event which attracts over 1,000 people, and is indeed the gala of the year.
A note from Steve
To reach my childhood goals of playing and coaching in the NHL, I’ve had to overcome many obstacles along the way. In 2012, I announced publicly that I have been living with Parkinson’s disease for over 12 years. I made a vow that I would fight Parkinson’s disease and try to help others with the same disability. I kept my word.
The Steve Ludzik Centre for Parkinson's Rehab located at the Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. Catharines was opened in June 2013, I am proud to say that the clinic is the first and only Parkinson's rehab clinic in all of Ontario, and the only one in Canada that is fully funded without any government assistance.
Together with my hockey brothers and friends, we have created the Ludzy’s Celebrity Roast as well as the Ludzy’s Charity Golf Classic, as an organization we have also assisted with the Hockey Night in St. Catharines celebrity hockey game, as well as the Light of Day local fundraisers.
The proceeds from our events fund the clinic and patients from every part of the Niagara region are eligible to attend. Like a successful hockey team, we need your support in this effort to help improve the quality of life for those afflicted with Parkinson's Disease as well as those suffering with the various movement disorders.