Did you know November 29 is International Giving Day? It’s a day when the global community will come together to donate to good causes, and we’re asking for your help. Your donation allows us to continue our mission to accelerate high-impact, game-changing Australian research into better treatments and ultimately, a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
In the lead up to Giving Day, we’re hearing from Australians living with Parkinson’s, to share their story, and tell us what support for research will mean for them.
Christine was on a humanitarian mission in Peru with her husband and three children when she first started to notice worrying symptoms. She remembers picking up a mug that was intended as a gift for a friend but, without warning, it slipped out of her hand and shattered onto the floor. Once she saw a neurologist, the diagnosis was swift. He said, “From the moment you walked into the room I knew you had Parkinson’s.” Christine was just 37 years old and had to come to terms with her diagnosis while living away from home, in another country.
Christine has since become a fierce advocate for Parkinson’s research and raises awareness of the importance of exercise and physical movement to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Her video, Ray of Hope, was recently awarded the People’s Choice Award at the World Parkinson Congress in July.
Why do you think it’s so important to fund innovative Parkinson’s research?
There is much that is unknown about the disease. Parkinson’s is a super complex disease. We need novel ideas and young scientists to think outside the box and innovative research to find a cure.
Our mission is to slow, stop and cure Parkinson’s through research. What would that mean for you?
Today I woke up and took my medications immediately as they take about 30 minutes to kick in, and I read quietly for a bit and started getting ready for work. But the drugs never kicked in, and I was struggling to walk and dress. The next 30 minutes meant fumbling my way through things that usually are easy for me, i.e. just getting me keys out of my handbag. For me – I need more effective medication that doesn’t fluctuate in effectiveness randomly. That’s why better treatments to slow disease progression, and one day, a cure, are so vital.
What is one thing you wish people understood more about Parkinson’s disease?
Many people have seen the video of the amazing benefits of Brain Stimulation Surgery or they’ve seen the video of a man who could barely walk then he got on a bike and looked great as he rode around the clinic car park. I have even seen a guy do a series of stretches and “abracadabra”, he was walking normally again. Surgery is very good but it’s not suitable or available to everyone. Cycling, which I also can do on and off, isn’t a practical solution of moving around indoors. Exercise and stretching are very effective treatments that help Parkinson’s. But they are not the cure. I might look good, but my natural state, sans medication, is highly affected after almost 10 years of Parkinson’s. The medication masks the true Parkinson’s. Please support us in finding a long term solution and cure for Parkinson’s.
Can you help us change the future people living with Parkinson’s? 100% of your donation will go directly to research, thanks to our founding directors’ commitment to cover all administration costs. Your help is making a real difference to change the future for people with Parkinson’s.