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I was born in 1950 in Swanley. I got married in 1971, it was the day after my 21ST birthday. We had our son in 1975 and my daughter was born in 1978. I was very active right up until 2001 when I was struck with Parkisons. I was very shocked by this. As I had run nine London marathons and many other half and full marathons and always kept myself healthy and active and I had never taken a tablet in my life. I now take 24 a day. I became aware of the Parkinson when I tired to drive a bus for my niece’s wedding, I lost all coordination and was unable to work the clutch and accelerator and had really bad shakes. I was very scared by this and went to see my Doctor he took blood and sent me to the neurologist. When told, he also offered me anti-depressants, as I was very emotional and upset by this event, partly due the fact that I was a mechanic and engineer my whole life. When being told by the neurologist that I have Parkinsons he said ‘there is good news and bad news, you can’t die from Parkinsons but you’ve got it for life.’ Since being diagnosed with Parkinson I have found it incredible hard to find work due to shaking and the bad coordination. I started doing voluntary work for Dial, its an information and advice line. I used to order their forms and helped talk to people about services offered. I now help out the Simon Paul Foundation, which is a foundation that offers advice for people with physical disabilities. I help organize and run a Talk Load Group, for people with Parkinson. We meet twice a month and express our voices, as Parkinson’s has many elements, one being voice control; you either speak softly or loudly. Another part of Parkinson is I experience many involuntary movements and I often freeze and can’t movement (usually when I have done too much). When I get tired many of the everyday activities we do and take for granted start slowly down and cause me difficulty, such as reading, writing and speaking. I deal with my Parkinson by keeping myself active all the time so I don’t think about my situation too much. At night if I need to use the toilet it is very difficult to get myself out of the bed, as my body will not do what I ask. I might make it to the door way and my body will freeze, my mind is shouting at my legs to move but they won’t respond. I now use a bottle leading to a cathata bag, I am not really happy using it but don’t have much of a choose.

I have now been aware of my condition for eight years and I fight it in every way, I don’t let it get me down and do as much as possible in order to keep going.