Personal Stories

Geoff’s story

Geoff was diagnosed in 2013 and it took 4.5 years to be diagnosed. “With symptoms persisting and appearing to be getting slightly worse and no answers to the problems coming from doctors, life was frustrating, worrying. It was on my mind all the time and I couldn't relax. Most of the time felt scared and alone.

Obvious symptoms for me which I worked hard to try and hide were poor balance, dizziness, joint pain rigidity in the legs, lost dexterity in left arm and I was always tired.

When I finally heard the words "It's pretty much confirmed now you have Parkinson's", I was relieved that I finally had a name that I could now start to deal with and fight against.

Parkinson's Victoria were the first people I turned to after being diagnosed and the support just keeps coming. They are my primary base of outside my family support. They allow me to take ownership and some responsibility of how the Parkinson's community can move ahead to getting overdue answers.

It's much easier living with something you know and start to learn about. I decided to be make changes to be able to live the best life I could and adjust to any and all changes as they arrived. I'm now living a much healthier and active lifestyle than I was before Parkinson's. I have a lot more empathy for others in challenging situations. I've also accepted that you don't have to be the best, just be your best.

My favourite sayings about Parkinson’s are: "My challenges don't define me, but my actions do" and “I’ve never met a person touched by Parkinson's that I didn't like!”. I look forward to seeing all of you this August. It’s our day, let’s take A Walk in the Park.”

Carmel’s story

“This is a photo of me holding my beautiful granddaughter Audrey."

My name is Carmel and every year for 5 years myself, my two daughters, my son in law, my four grandchildren, my disabled daughter, my nephew, his wife and two children together with my 82 year old mother walk for Parkinson’s Victoria.

He died on 7th January 2012. He had Parkinson for 26 years.

This is one way we have of honouring him every year for the fantastic, courageous man he was. He never complained and did all he could to live a good life.

We look forward to putting our T-shirts on again this year and walking as a family, proud as hell of Antonio Del Re.”

Kim's story

SPREADING THE WORD

At the age of 45, Kim Goodridge’s father was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease.

At the time, she had no idea what that meant; what hardships he would have to face, the numerous symptoms he would have to suffer through, and the enormous amount of pain and heartache her family would have to endure, watching him bravely tackle the day-to-day struggles of the condition.

Having seen the impact of Parkinson’s first hand, A Walk in the Park is an event Kim supports wholeheartedly. “It’s a time for all of our friends and family to join as one and to support my father and all other families going through their own battles with Parkinson’s. “

Kim also sees it as a unique opportunity to raise much needed awareness. It’s a chance to enlighten the public and change their perceptions of Parkinson’s being nothing more than “the shakes” and only affecting the elderly; that it can affect the young and they too deserve to be recognised and supported within the community.

This passion to raise awareness has fuelled Kim’s enthusiasm for fundraising. She takes her inspiration from her father and his resilience, which has in turn inspired her family and friends to join together in an attempt to raise as much money as possible. “If the small amount of effort we put in contributes in any way to supporting others and to furthering the search for a cure, then we have accomplished something truly amazing.”

Knowing that you have support, from friends and family, the extended community and the professionals at Parkinson’s Victoria, is truly invaluable when it comes to living with Parkinson’s.