Brett Stewart and his family and friends are raising funds for Parkinson’s through sales of a book that Brett has written, called Isabelle May. The story invites early readers to improve their reading skills through rhyme and to dramatise their learning.
Brett was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013 and has pushed past the difficult days to put this whimsical story together. He was a school teacher for more than 40 years and has accumulated many children’s stories, meaning this could be the first of many more. At the moment he and his family are working to fund the publishing of Isabelle May through Pozible, while also collecting donations for Shake It Up.
We wanted to hear more about this story, so spoke with Cherry, Brett’s wife.
What drives your commitment to a cure for Parkinson’s?
Our husband and father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013. He had to retire from teaching, but was still very much involved in writing children’s stories. He has hundreds of stories and poems in his filing cabinets. The medicine and his exercise program worked very well for him up till the pandemic hit. The anxiety during Covid-19 limited his activities. With these limitations, his health declined. We had thought that the medication would keep him going, however we have had to rethink our approach. Thus, we have turned to investigating other alternatives. Supporting people who engage in Parkinson’s Research is the best way to supplement our own efforts to improve his condition.
There has been significant progress made in stem cell research. Supporting continued research may eventually help many people if the cells which control movement and thought can be regenerated, or at least the progression of such loss is slowed down.