Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease whilst in my 40’s has been life changing. Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive degenerative neurological disease for which there is currently no cure. It affects 145,000 people in the UK and around 5% of us are under the age of 50.
I have lived with Parkinson’s Disease for three years. The symptoms impact on every aspect of daily life and I am aware of them in everything I do. Tremor, stiffness and a slow, shuffling gait are what many people associate with Parkinson’s Disease. These are just the tip of the iceberg, Parkinson’s Disease causes pain, and it affects memory, cognition, sleep, swallow, speech, balance, co-ordination, fine movements, posture and so much more, making the simplest of tasks difficult to do. The symptoms will continue to get worse over time.
Exercise is vitally important for people with Parkinson’s Disease. Setting a physical challenge gives me an added incentive to keep fit and organising a challenge for a large group of friends gives me something really positive to focus on. In 2017, I cycled 500km from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Angkor Wat in Cambodia with 15 wonderful friends. We collectively became known as ‘The Cylopaths’ and we raised £42,750 for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. I was privileged to be awarded their Alex Flynn Fundraiser of the Year 2017 award for The Cyclopath’s fundraising efforts. I’ve got the cycling bug now and am determined to keep it up. So this year’s challenge?
To cycle 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise funds and awareness for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, a charity that funds research into treatments that have the potential to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s Disease. I am so grateful to the eleven Cyclopaths who are again embarking on the challenge with me and to the seven new recruits who clearly have no idea what they are letting themselves in for!
To donate, please visit our fundraising webpage.
Thank you for your support, your interest and your generousity.