John Szpik and Marylou Caden

P4P2021 brunch menu on display

Jan 2022

Brunch with the Szpik-Cadens

Like many large events last year, our biennial Porridge for Parkinson’s brunch was postponed because of the pandemic. Instead, our creative planning committee decided on an ambitious plan to deliver brunch directly to our supporters’ homes each Sunday in November. It was truly a “win-win-win” approach—families were thrilled to enjoy their brunches at home, chefs and restaurants were able to actively participate, and funds were raised to support PD research.

John Szpik and Marylou Caden took delivery of their brunch on Sunday, November 21st. They graciously agreed to speak with PorridgeTO about their first Porridge for Parkinson’s event and their connection to PD.

John is a patient of Dr. Lang and the team at Toronto Western and has had Parkinson’s for approximately ten years. Although the pandemic has curtailed many of his normal activities, he has remained active. John recently recovered from hip replacement surgery, and he is enjoying walking as much as possible.

For many years, John and Marylou celebrated their wedding anniversary with a special meal at Scaramouche Restaurant. Their tradition was to finish by sharing a piece of coconut cream pie, a speciality created by Joanne Yolles, the pastry chef extraordinaire. Joanne has been an active member of the Porridge for Parkinson’s planning committee for many years. Marylou began following Joanne on social media and noticed her posts about our biennial brunches.

John and Marylou saw this year’s brunch-at-home format as a great alternative to the live event. Marylou placed an order for delivery on November 21st, which coincidently was their wedding anniversary. John and Marylou loved the brunch and were excited to have it as part of their anniversary celebration. The day didn’t end there. With their sons, Michael and Daniel, they spent the afternoon at the El Mocambo!

Marylou and John are very happy to have Dr. Lang as John’s neurologist and are pleased to know that our brunch proceeds help support his team’s important research. They are also big fans of our founding chefs, Joanne Yolles and Jamie Kennedy, and look forward to attending future live events.

Delivering brunch to Marylou and John on their special day was our pleasure. We thank them and everyone who supported Porridge for Parkinson’s in 2021.

A convJohn Szpik and Marylou Caden

Above: Marylou and John’s anniversary celebration at the El Mocambo. Courtesy of Marylou Caden.