Chontelle recently lost her father who lived with Parkinson’s. Later this year she and her family are embarking on a road trip around Australia and they will be using the opportunity to raise awareness about Parkinson’s, Shake It Up and the need for more research. In a moving and fitting tribute to her Dad, Chontelle has completed our Share Your Story questions on his behalf.
How old was your Dad when he was diagnosed?
My father was diagnosed at 32. I remember vividly the day I found out.
What is the greatest challenge that Parkinson’s posed to his everyday life?
I could see many things that interrupted his typical daily life. As years went on, he truly held his head up and tried to live life though it had not been changed. He never once let PD define him as a person and was very head strong and decided that this would not beat him.
Apart from a cure – what was his greatest wish?
His greatest wish would have been to see his two children (myself and my brother) happy, live our dreams and be grateful for what we have in our life. He was also diagnosed the year MJF was, so one of his greatest wishes was to meet him in person.
Apart from medication what helped him the most while living with Parkinson’s?
My father travelled a great deal when he was quite ill. I believe this and his ultimate quest for happiness was a huge impact on his health. He never questioned himself or what ‘he can or cannot do’, instead he just did it. He travelled many places abroad and travelled a motor home around Oz quite late in his life.
What did he love to do in his spare time?
I can answer this without question…dad LOVED music. Rock and roll. He would play the guitar, sing and just listen full blast to his heart’s content. He loved fishing in Victoria and NSW Sapphire Coast. He also loved comedy – anything that would give him a good belly laugh.