Kate Marshall’s dad, Peter was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 12 years ago. At the time he was supremely fit, an avid cyclist, runner and swimmer. Even now, Kate says he still maintains his six-pack and is still riding his bike regularly. He had also just retired from his company that he owned with his wife. Together, they were looking forward to an incredible retirement after many years of working hard.
So naturally it came as a huge shock for Peter to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It is only recently that Kate has realised how the diagnosis has made her feel.
Kate said “It is quite confronting, to see my dad struggle is hard. It breaks my heart seeing a man who I know is so capable and so driven and active – and then to see him stuck in a chair and not move because he is exhausted. I don’t like to see him in pain with his muscles and his tremors.
Dad is only 63. He is rapidly losing his independence, but despite Parkinson’s he still looks really good”. Kate decided that she would fundraise for Parkinson’s NSW as a way of helping her dad. She felt that she wanted to support the research efforts so that anyone who has Parkinson’s can better educate themselves on what is available to achieve a better quality of life.
At the time, Kate was training for the Gold Coast Marathon, a 42.2km race. She decided to turn this into a fundraiser for Parkinson’s NSW, successfully raising $4000. She completed the marathon in an amazing 3 hours and 41 minutes.
Kate said “I enjoyed every minute of it. Every time my mind wandered and I thought that I was having some doubts about being able to run it, or if my legs were starting to hurt, I just reminded myself I’m running for Parkinson’s. I’m running for people who can’t run marathons. I’m running for these people so that hopefully one day in the future, they might be able to run a marathon again”.
So what is Kate up to next? That will be supporting her dad through his surgery in Switzerland. Peter and his wife Janice are planning on leaving in March for Peter to have Transcranial Radiation Therapy. We will let you know how that goes.
Many thanks once again to Kate for her magnificent fundraising efforts.