Ahead of World Parkinson's Day on 11 April, I showed my support for the local Parkinson's community. Sadly, Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world and currently there is no cure.
I attended a parliamentary drop in session last month to hear from a number of people affected by this condition. With more than 40 symptoms, everyone’s experience of Parkinson’s is different, making it hard for people without first hand experience to understand. The session was designed to start conversations and increase understanding among MPs and members of the House of Lords of what it is like to live with Parkinson’s or as the carer of someone with this condition.
The session was held as part of this year’s activities to mark World Parkinson’s Day. This year, members of the Parkinson’s community chose to encourage people to Talk About Parkinson’s to increase visibility and understanding of the condition.
It was incredibly powerful to hear people telling their own Parkinson’s story. There is the complexity of the condition which was further impacted by the restrictions on the clinically vulnerable during the pandemic. The challenges families face in accessing timely, high-quality Parkinson's care, demonstrate that there is much more we can all do to show our support for people living with Parkinson’s and their families.
Laura Cockram, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Sir Mark for coming along to Talk About Parkinson’s and pledge to support constituents affected by the condition in Preston.
“One thing that we know is that not enough people really understand Parkinson’s. They don’t know it’s a serious condition, that treatments are limited and that there is no cure. They don’t realise just how much people with Parkinson’s and their loved ones have to fight to access the care and support they are entitled to.
“We hope that through talking about Parkinson’s this World Parkinson’s Day, we can start to address that. If more people understand Parkinson’s, they can support people in their local communities, join our cause to improve health and care services and the benefits system, help fundraise, and, ultimately, get us closer to that cure.”