The Demoucelle Parkinson Charity, like all charities, relies heavily on volunteers to organise fundraising events, raise awareness, determine strategy and manage administrative tasks. Some volunteers support the charity on just one occasion, others take part in an event every year and some commit to providing regular assistance. We are extremely grateful for each and every contribution made by our volunteers towards achieving our common goal of finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.  Thank you!

“We have been friends with Patrick and Anne-Marie for many years and greatly admire the way Patrick has coped with Parkinson’s disease, and their positive attitude and determination to help speed up research to find a cure.

We want to support that goal in a very practical way by volunteering with DPC.”

Alexandra (“Sandra”) Barentz and Radboud (“Rad”) van den Akker were both born in the Netherlands but have been living in Brussels since the mid-1980s.  They have recently retired from their jobs in the fashion industry and as a political officer at NATO HQ, respectively, and have decided to stay in Belgium, where they feel very much at home and have many friends, including Patrick and Anne-Marie Demoucelle.

The couples met some 20 years ago and as such Sandra and Rad have witnessed the progression of Parkinson’s disease since Patrick’s diagnosis in 2005. They have great admiration for the way in which Patrick copes with the tough realities of living with Parkinson’s, and how both he and Anne-Marie have reoriented their lives towards promoting greater awareness of the disease and accelerating research to find a cure.

 “When friends go through something so life changing, it puts the daily ups and downs that we all experience into perspective. Patrick and Anne-Marie’s positive and can-do attitude has been really inspiring.”

Having been fortunate enough to be able to retire a few years early, Sandra and Rad are determined to continue to lead an active life and want to volunteer their time, energy and ideas to support good causes. The Demoucelle Parkinson Charity is particularly close to their hearts, and they have wasted no time in getting actively engaged. 

Indeed, Sandra is focusing mainly on DPC activities and events and Rad is helping out in the communications area, notably DPC’s social media presence. 

“Retirement feels pretty active to us. An exciting new phase in our lives with lots of opportunities to meet new and interesting people. Getting more involved with DPC is a great and rewarding challenge that we are already enjoying immensely.”

Of course, the couple’s retirement plans also include other activities, such as pursuing old and new hobbies, staying in shape, playing more (and better) tennis and golf, traveling, and supporting their daughter Amélie, who is studying hotel management in Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Welcome to the DPC team, Sandra and Rad!