connect someone with Parkinson’s with the support they urgently need for a better life
“If I can give someone hope or the courage to move forward and not feel consumed by Parkinson’s, that’s what I want to do” – Lisa
Lisa has been a lot of things in her 57 years. A spokesperson for the Federal Police. A mum of five. A breeder of Dalmatian dogs. A patchwork quilter. A marriage celebrant. A poet. An army reservist.
“People tell me I’ve done more in my life than they could have done in five lifetimes,” she says with a laugh. “I love to keep busy.”
But staying busy has been a lot harder for Lisa lately. It’s now 13 years since her normal lack of co-ordination reached a level where it worried her and doctors gave her the extremely unwelcome diagnosis of Parkinson’s. Initially she was in denial and refused to take medication. “I didn’t want it to be me,” she remembers.
“After I started on medication, I had some good years where I was quite controlled. But for the last couple of years it has been a struggle, and I’ve got to admit I’m not in a completely happy place at the moment.”
“I look in the mirror and see Parkinson’s.”
“I can no longer work. I’m fighting to keep my driver’s license. I feel anxiety, depression, concern about where I’m going to end up. I tremor. I suffer from micrographia where your writing gets smaller and smaller. I’m having terrible problems with freezing where I stop and can’t get moving again. It’s come to the point where if I want to stay in my home, I need help. Some days I can’t even hang washing on the line.”
No-one wants to be defined by Parkinson’s. But the truth is, when ‘bad days’ come Parkinson’s is disabling, expensive and disruptive.
It stops people working due to discrimination or because they are physically unable to do the work.
People need help to build strength so that falls, balance issues and freezing become less of a problem. They need preventions like exercise, speech pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy along with assistance to stay at work and living independently at home for longer.
Your donation will help to grow our team responsible for connecting people with Parkinson’s to the specific services they need in their local area. Part of this is helping them overcome any barriers – such as funding – that they may be experiencing.
You may already know our Registered Nurse Margi and Social Worker Melanie, who are spearheading our new Connect Team.
“We are here to make sure people are accessing the services they should be able to access. Most
people we speak to are very confused.”
Maybe you know that feeling? Lisa certainly does. “I can’t help myself any further than I’ve done,” she says. “Now I need help from the outside.”
“I’m lucky at the moment because I’ve got a couple of girlfriends who help me,” she says, “but if I didn’t have them I’d be in a bit of trouble.”
The support our new Connect Team offers Lisa and others with Parkinson’s focuses on guiding people to assistance they need to have the better life they want and deserve.
This is what your donation would achieve and I hope you’ll agree that it’s so worthwhile.
Please give today if you want to help ease the way for people with Parkinson’s.
Lisa asked me to share her story and her poem with you to make sure that Parkinson’s doesn’t stop people living their lives, there is always a way to move forward. If you can help Lisa in her mission by giving to support, and expand, our Parkinson’s NSW services, I’d be exceptionally thankful.
Chief Executive Officer