Dad - Living with Parkinson's
Over six years ago on the 16th March 2015 my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's.
Parkinson's is something that happens to 'other people' – it is never supposed to affect you or your family. For as long as I can remember my Dad had always suffered with a tremor, so I was completely naïve to the impact of my Dad’s diagnosis. Nothing had changed, we had just given it a name. I was wrong. Like it or not, it does and has changed everything and although my Dad’s condition may plateau, you always worry. We navigate our lives with one eye over our shoulder. You never know how long before it will start to get worse. It's always there in the background. Even the most menial of tasks, such as doing up your buttons can prove too difficult. Parkinson’s is a long-term degenerative disorder. It is a battle, not a fight. Those of you who are lucky enough to know my Dad, will know that he has faced his diagnosis head-on, and although the impact on his life is evident, he still lives it to the full. His courage, humour and approach has been nothing short of inspirational; he is the anchor of our family. Parkinson’s can affect anyone, at any age, at any time; it does not prejudice and we still have a long way to go to make sure that every person who is suffering has access to the services they need in order to help and support them and their families.
Parkinson's is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. 1 in 37 people alive today in the UK will be diagnosed with Parkinson's in their lifetime. Research from Parkinson's UK show that around 145,000 people live with a Parkinson's diagnosis in the UK in 2020. I was due to run Run 4 Wales Cardiff Half Marathon last year which was unfortunately cancelled due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. My entry has rolled over and I am due to run it this year instead, but as Parkinson's UK, along with many other charities globally, was hit hard last year due to loosing large streams of their income due to cancelled events I have decided to go one step further. This year, I am not only running one marathon but two; Swansea Half Marathon. As well as having already taken part in Alcohol Change UK Dry January, I also plan to host a quiz (COVID pending!). Parkinson’s UK, do incredible work day in, day out in supporting those with Parkinson’s and their families live long and fulfilling lives, while also investing in the most recent research and clinical testing to ultimately find a cure!
It is imperative that people recognise that although Parkinson’s can deplete and work to destroy our hope, strength and overall positivity, there are always people that set the standard for maintaining the upper hand on this disease, just like my Dad. I am hoping that this year, I can help Parkinson's UK in their campaign to fund new clinical research, raise awareness, promote understanding and improve services across the country. Please donate if and whatever you can – no amount is too small (or too large!)