Andy Tackles his Parkinson’s Diagnosis Head On

Our hero this week is Andy, whose courage to stand up and bring awareness of Parkinson’s to his community is truly inspiring. This year, Andy is supporting Shake It Up by hosting a martial arts competition to fight Parkinson’s. He’s also recently published a book about his experiences encouraging others to face your challenges head on. 

What Drives Your Commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s?

I have watched the devastating nature of this disease slowly rob my uncle and mother of their ability to function. Since I was diagnosed 3 years ago at 52, I have only told my closest friends and relatives. This year with the publishing of my book Stand Tall, I decided it was time for me to stand up and use all of my contacts and skills to bring awareness to PD and to bring hope to people with PD that the slowing down or curing of PD will be a reality.

Why Shake It Up Australia?

Soon after I was diagnosed, I contacted Clyde and without hesitation he dropped into see me at my home. He has been a real inspiration with his drive, and it is hard not to be impressed by his commitment and passion. I want to do all that I can to support Clyde, his team and Shake it up.

Tell us what you are doing/did to Shake Things Up?

I am running a Martial Arts Competition in April to fight Parkinson’s. All proceeds from the competition will be donated to Shake it up. Sunday 28th April 9am North Sydney PCYC 224 Falcon St North Sydney.

Greatest Reward

Standing in front of my students, parents and friends and shaking. Regardless I was able to speak to them about the importance of Standing Tall and facing your fears. I was able to face my fear with confidence and in turn motivate the many students that I have.

Best advice for people looking to Shake It Up?

It does not matter who you are or what you do, in your own unique way you can always make a difference if you choose to. It does take effort, but the support is always there for the people that are willing to reach out.