There are over 80,000 Australians and their families affected by this devastating disease in Australia and the numbers are rising. The sad reality for people with Parkinson’s is that there is currently no cure and the treatment options currently available can be expensive, intrusive and have serious side-effects.
Andy O’Shea was diagnosed at just 42. With a wife and 3 young children, the future was terrifying and uncertain. With the help of his supportive family, Andy has approached his his life since diagnosis with humour and positivity; but life is difficult.
Last year, unable to do the simple things most of us take for granted like pouring himself a coffee, cheering on his footy team with his sons or walk down the street without being stared at, Andy took a drastic step. He signed up for brain surgery; a treatment called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Unbelievably, during the 5 hour operation, Andy was awake when 2 holes were drilled into his skull and electrodes inserted.
Unfortunately DBS is not a cure and the disease will continue to progress. But hopefully, Andy’s tremors will improve and he’ll be able to control his movement enough for him to enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe less people will stare when he walks down the street.
Andy considers himself lucky to have undergone this operation as less than 10% of people with Parkinson’s are eligible for the procedure.
HOPE FOR TOMORROW
Every person with Parkinson’s wants a cure. To find one, we must spend money on research. That’s why 50% of all donations received from the campaign will go towards research into better treatments and ultimately finding a cure.
HELP FOR TODAY
Whilst they wait for a cure, people with Parkinson’s need support now. They (and their loved ones) need support to help them cope with the day to day challenges of living with this devastating disease. That’s why 50% of the donations will go towards funding the services Parkinson’s NSW provides FREE to people who need help, such as: Counselling, Support Groups, advice, information and nurses.
Watch the video of Andy and Denise and their children as they explain what it was like before Andy’s surgery. We have a very moving piece from the Director of the video as he talks about his fight with Parkinson’s. And we have a beautiful cover by the O’Shea’s of Don’t Worry Be Happy.
Parkinson’s disease is a movement and mood disorder typically presenting with symptoms such as slowness of movement, muscle rigidity, instability, tremor, depression and anxiety.
Parkinson’s NSW provide invaluable, essential services to people with Parkinson’s, their families and carers by providing free services throughout NSW. We offer: Counselling, an InfoLine staffed by nurses, Neurological Nurses in the community, over 67 Support Groups and research funding to find new treatments and ultimately find a cure.
Every hour of every day someone in Australia is diagnosed with Parkinson’s
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