A few days ago, I was approached via Facebook messenger by a family friend, asking if I would consider writing a blog for them. This person lives with Parkinson’s Disease and is a very active member of our community with regards to raising awareness of Parkinson’s and supporting others with the disease. Her name is Sharon and she told me that April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and sent me some links to websites about Parkinson’s. I was extremely pleased to have been asked to write a post for Sharon, and feel so honoured that she thought of me, so without further ado, I shall begin my post.
What is Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s is a very complex illness and had different stages, meaning people can be affected in different ways. According to Parkinson’s.org.uk, “the symptoms most often associated with Parkinson’s affect movement. These are often called motor symptoms”. Other symptoms include tremors, slow movement, stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, restless legs syndrome, sleep problems, speech problems and a heck of a lot of mental health problems, mainly depression. It is not known how it’s caused, and there is no cure. It occurs mainly in adults over 50, although it is not uncommon in younger people. It doesn’t directly cause death, however, symptoms of Parkinson’s worsen over time, making the disease more difficult to deal with as time goes on.
What Sharon and others say
Sharon speaks openly about her experience with Parkinson’s, even being featured in a video on Parkinson’s UK’s website. She has struggled with depression and states that, at “At one point [she] wanted to kill [herself] because [she] just thought “What’s the point of living like this?” “. This shows the extent for her depression, a very serious symptom of Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s has and does affect so many people, with figures suggesting that 1 in 500 people are affected. This includes the fair share of celebrities including Johnny Cash, Michael J. Fox, and even Robin Williams, whose wife announced that he had been battling Parkinson’s in its early stages (Ranker.com). Michael J. Fox is known to have said the following about Parkinson’s
“I have no choice about whether or not I have Parkinson’s. I have nothing but choices about how I react to it. In those choices, there’s freedom to do a lot of things in areas that I wouldn’t have otherwise found myself in.”
Which indicates that he is willing to carry on with his life the best he can, something that Sharon is also doing.
How can I help?
There are a number of ways that you can get involved in the fight against Parkinson’s. As has already been stated, there is currently no known cure, so a lot of the fundraising goes towards this, as well as helping people with Parkinson’s. Join in by helping to raise money for Parkinson’s charities, taking let in any fundraising, raising awareness of Parkinson’s, and educating yourself further on the disease.
If you are from my local area, you might be interested to know that Sharon is holding a charity evening this month to raise money for Parkinson’s, which is a great way for you all to get involved.
http://youtu.be/-46OV8yJ_JU (Sharon’s video about her experience with Parkinson’s)