Learn more about the work of the Pacific Parkinsons Research Institute!

Read more about Parkinson's Research and the New Centre for Brain Health at UBC

Read Marg's article that appeared in the
Vancouver Courier on November 24th, 2011

GIVING BACK: An article from the Globe & Mail featuring Marg Meikle and Noel MacDonald

Marg Meikle's
April 17 DBS

October 22,2007

Writer Maurice Bridge wins a Jack Webster Award for these articles:

.My Life with Parkinson's
.The operation
.Enabling the unit

If for some reason it  doesn't work, use my sign-in to the www.vancouversun.com marg@meikle.com              password: vancouversun

And here's a follow-up:

Still Seeking Answers

Porridge Trivia

Porridge by any other name...

Porridge has various names in the different parts of Scotland:

  • 'lite' leetch-yuh
  • 'milgruel'
  • 'tartan-purry'

Scroll down for answers

Trivia Answers

  • 'lite' leetch-yuh Gaelic for porridge
  • 'milgruel' in Shetland
  • 'tartan-purry' is the thin porridge made with the liquor in which kale has been cooked.

Courtesy of Scottish National Dictionary Association.

Marg Meikle, Mac MacDonald and Noel MacDonald
photo courtesy of Dan Heringa

Can't be at Porridge?

Donate Here !

Presentation of $307, 500 from the Pacific Parkinson's Research Institute to UBC at the 2011 Porridge for Parkinson's Breakfast

From left to right: Dr. Silke Cresswell, PPRI Professorship-holder; Dr. Jon Stoessl, Director, Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, UBC; and Dale Parker, Chair, Board of Trustees, Pacific Parkinson's Research Institute.

Dear Porridge Lovers: September 2016

It's been a while since I updated our site.  This year will be the 16th Porridge for Parkinson's in our home and the third year that Marg hasn't been with us. It's been an incredible journey for Mac, myself and all the fabulous volunteers that made this event what it is. Our thanks to everyone who supports Porridge for Parkinson's.

This money continues to support the work of Dr. Silke Cresswell, the neurologist who holds the "Marg Meikle Professorship" at the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre at UBC, and brings us closer to finding a cure.

Many thanks,

Yours in porridge,
 Noel and Mac


What is Porridge for Parkinson's?

Porridge for Parkinson's is the world's simplest fundraiser. We started the idea in our home with our friends and relatives in November 2001, and  we just had the 13th  annual PfP at our home in Vancouver.

   Porridge for Parkinson's is not a pyramid scheme.
   It's more of a food chain or a bowl movement!

We're delighted that the bowl movement has gone international, although we have learned the hard way that many Americans aren't completely sure what porridge is..."something from nursery rhymes" we've been told. "Oatmeal for Parkinson's" simply doesn't scan. We'll have to convert the masses, one bowl at a time.

We've put together this website to show how you can hold an inexpensive, delicious, simple, and profitable event. The website will be a scrapbook of past parties, tips for putting on a party, and a running tally of funds raised for Parkinson's research.

Whether you serve 5, 10, 30 or 300, or you know two friends who might serve 10 each, we think this is an ideal cheap and fun way to raise money to find a cure.

P.S. Bill Richardson, Mac's godfather, wrote this article (149k PDF file) about our efforts for the June 2002 issue of Canadian Living Magazine. And John Lee wrote about the spread of the bowl movement in the November 1, 2002 National Post.


Why Porridge and Why Now

We want to help find a cure for this nasty progressive disease, and so we are raising funds to go directly to research. Marg was diagnosed in June 1999 when our son, Mac, was 18 months old. (Marg was 43.) The rapidity of the progression has been scary and being proactive feels right. 

December 21, 2013 Marg died from the impact of her Parkinson's Disease.

We admire the huge number of fundraisers that the various Parkinson's organizations hold, but we wanted to do something that worked with Marg's medication "on" times and worked for our family. Noel came up with "Porridge for Parkinson's." It's a variation on a breakfast benefit our friends Carol Denny and David Jiles have held for 19 years for First United Church in Vancouver . It is always such a friendly, simple party, and we thought it would be an ideal fundraiser for our cause. (David originally came up with the idea because he loved the porridge at the Stock Market at Granville Island in Vancouver so much.)

Porridge for Parkinson's is a "we can't just sit around waiting for something to happen with this disease" grassroots event. Parkinson's disease sucks - so let's help get rid of it. Researchers have a better understanding of PD and are close to a cure. The fact that the science is ahead of the money encourages us to get cooking.

Our first breakfast turned into a huge deal with close to 200 people, but we firmly believe that whether you serve 10, 30 or 300 guests, you will have done something significant towards increasing awareness, and you definitely will have had some fun.

And did we mention it is cheap? The costs are remarkably low for the return. Our total cost that first year was about $200, including cards, envelopes and postage for a huge mailing, masses of superb porridge and dense and delicious Dried Fruit Poached in Port compote. We could have done it for much much less (in a subsequent year we used www.evite.com for our invitations but now we're back to printed invites--citing the fact that folks love to stick something on their fridge). Our favourite statistic is that the steel cut oats cost $10.81 to serve 200 people.

Our party continues to be large--we sent out about 450 invitations in 2006, many to regulars who salivate at the mere mention of porridge.  Our expenses were about $1000.00 and we brought in $50,000.00. (And because of the SNOW that day, we had a lot smaller turn-out but many people sent in donations. Good thing the kids had a snowball fight that day cause that was more or less it for that year!)

The Bottom Line: We raise a lot of money in a morning for the Pacific Parkinson's Research Institute, which funds the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre (formerly known as the Movement Disorder Clinic at the University of British Columbia ). Their work is well known worldwide.

So, if you have Parkinson's Disease or know someone who does, or just feel like putting on a fun, inexpensive and profitable event for this cause, go for it. You're guaranteed to get lots of kudos for these great recipes, it is pretty minimal impact entertaining, and you will have remarkable results both financially and for raising public awareness. Our guests were eager to learn something about this rather bizarre brain disorder and keen to contribute something. It all adds up.