The end of Parkinson’s Awareness Week seems like a good time to think about the reason I decided to take on this Kilimanjaro challenge and why I’m raising money for Parkinson’s UK…
Parkinson’s Disease has had, and will continue to have, a great impact on my family. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 8 years ago, and his mother (my grandmother) had also suffered from it. For now, my dad manages to keep the symptoms mostly under control thanks to medication, so although everyday tasks may need more effort or take longer, he can still do a lot of the things he enjoys (like his current project, building a rather impressive model railway in his garden!).
Parkinson’s Disease is a horrible condition that affects 1 in 500 people in the UK. No-one dies of Parkinson’s; they just become slowly more and more reliant on other people for every need. The causes of Parkinson’s are as yet unknown, and there is currently no cure.
This is why the work that Parkinson’s UK does is so important, from funding vital research into that elusive cure, to the support and information that they provide to sufferers of the condition and their families, to raising awareness of Parkinson’s Disease and working to change attitudes and perceptions (there’s also a great section on their website with more information about exactly what Parkinson’s is).
Last November I went with my dad to a Parkinson’s UK lecture at the Royal Institution about bespoke treatments for Parkinson’s (if you watch the last video on that link closely you’ll see a cameo from my dad). It was so interesting to learn more about the subject and there were some very positive messages to take away about the direction that the research has been going in. This just reinforced to me the importance of funding to ensure that it continues to progress.
Parkinson’s UK depends entirely on donations and even though my sponsorship target is a just drop in the ocean of what it takes to do all this, I want to do all I can to support their work – and, as they say, every little helps!