This week the charity Parkinson’s UK is commencing in the annual Parkinson’s Awareness Week and are doing numerous activities in order to raise awareness.
On Monday in Manchester the charity were located at the Virgin Money Lounge where they were educating people who dropped in about Parkinson’s and encouraging them to get involved in the charity.
Parkinson’s Awareness Week started on the 18th of April and lasts until the 24th with many fundraisers taking place over the North West such as walks in Leighton Hall in Lancashire and even abseiling at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.
Susan Newsham, Volunteer Coordinator in Greater Manchester for Parkinson’s UK said, “Parkinson’s Awareness week is our chance to raise awareness about the condition and how it affects people, and about the services and support that Parkinson’s UK offers.”
Sarah Green, North West Regional Fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK described the effects of the condition saying, “Parkinson’s is a neurological degenerative condition where the dopamine producing cells in the brain are gone, so dopamine is the chemical thats involved in movement and muscle control. So with Parkinson’s it means muscle control is affected throughout the body.”
Parkinson’s UK is the UK’s leading charity for supporting people with the condition and since it was founded in 1969 their ultimate aim has been to find a cure for Parkinson’s.
In the UK 1 in 500 people have Parkinson’s and the condition is most common in people aged over 50. However 1 in 20 have symptoms of the condition before the age of 40.
There are also many celebrities who have the condition such as former heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali and Back To The Future star Michael J. Fox who has even established his own foundation for the research of Parkinson’s.
Sarah Green, North West Regional Fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK said, “It’s a really fluctuating condition and actually everybody who get’s Parkinson’s their symptoms and their story is very different, there aren’t any patterns about how your Parkinson’s is going to look so a diagnosis is not necessarily an answer.”
“One of the main things we’re talking about this week is that quite often when people get diagnosed we’ve found that nearly forty percent won’t tell their friends and family and employer as they try to hide it as they get embarrassed.”
Parkinson’s UK is currently supporting around 70 groundbreaking research projects worth over £20million across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
There is more information on Parkinson’s UK’s website at http://www.parkinsonsuk.org.uk and confidential helpline 0808 800 0303.
The full interviews are below.
Vine – from the author
Pictogram – from the author (stats courtesy of Parkinson’s UK)
Youtube Parkinson’s Awareness Week – from the author
Tweets – from NHS and The Guardian
Youtube Ryan Reynolds, Micheal J. Fox team up against Parkinson’s – TODAY Youtube channel