It all started with just a little pain in her neck, the type of niggling pain that many people would just shrug off as a strained muscle.
From there it was the slight shaking in her hand that made writing difficult that led to a visit to a doctor.
Karyn Wright was just 40 with two young children when she was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather,” she said.
Her two young children Lachlan and Caitlyn, then aged 13 and 10, sat just outside the doctor’s room while she was told the life-changing news.
“I was devastated, I just walked out of the room and I couldn’t believe it,” she said
“Where do you go next? What happens to my children?”
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that leaves sufferers with symptoms including slowness, muscle rigidity, instability and tremor.
As a single mother Ms Wright has spent most of the time since her shocking news 18 months ago avoiding the diagnosis and focusing on her children.
“We did things I might not be able to do in the future with them,” she said.
Early onset diagnosis is rare according to Shake it Up Australia Foundation, with only one in 10 sufferers diagnosed before they reach 50.
Ms Wright came to the decision she wanted to help others just like herself and create an awareness of the support group in Orange.
Despite the slight tremor in her hand, Ms Wright says she is “mentally fine” and part of the Parkinson’s Orange Support Group.
As part of her journey, Ms Wright is determined to learn as much as she can about research and treatment of the disease.
She also hopes to create more awareness and has set up a website for sufferers in Orange and the central west.
“You have your good days and your bad days and the main thing you’ve got to do is manage the bad days,” she said.
“It’s like a ticking time bomb. Tomorrow I could be like this or worse, you just don’t know.”
Source: Central Western Daily