"Nothing can prepare you for the shock when you are given a diagnosis of Parkinsons Disease. At this stage, you probably don't even really know what this means. Your mind is bombarded with questions about your future, and for a while, you feel like you may not have much of a future at all.
My name is Michele Roach and this happened to me. As an active mother and grandmother of 55, I was devastated by this news. Not only myself, but my family and friends walked around in a fog of disbelief for months. During this time, their support and love was what got me to a place where I could believe there was still a quality life ahead of me.
That's when I started painting. It happened quite by accident. I was curious as to whether I could paint one canvas for a blank spot in my lounge. That was the end of it! Once I started painting, I couldn't stop. It relieved my symptoms somehow, and gave me some time out from Parkinsons Disease. I could lose myself and find hours had gone by without me giving any thought to this new situation that I found myself in.
My work improved, and although I had not painted for a long time, I remember doing quite well in Art at school. It now takes up a lot of my time, and has taught me the meaning of "when one door closes, another one opens" and especially "living in the moment". As time goes on, you learn to manage things a little easier.
I was lucky enough to become associated with Parkinson NSW in the early stages of my diagnosis. They helped me through those first weeks and months, and I would like to give something back.
You can buy one of my original acrylic paintings by visiting my website 'Smart-Arts Photo Gallery' where you can view my art, then place an order through Parkinsons NSW.
When you buy one of my paintings, I donate 25% of the purchase price to this worthwhile organisation. .
You may know someone with Parkinsons Disease. Help Parkinsons NSW to help them. Take a look, and if you would like to buy, you know you are supporting a worthy cause."