Thanks to research and modern technology, we live in an era when medical breakthroughs are producing results that truly transform people’s lives.
But it’s shocking that the foremost drug that people with Parkinson’s rely on, those like my brother-in-law Gordon Scarfe, has not changed in more than 50 years.
This is not because it’s so effective that no new medication is needed – far from it. Parkinson’s is a relentless, cruel condition that causes immense suffering, from deep depression and pain to complete immobility.
The lack of new treatments, and no cure, means that there is nothing to stop the relentless progression and worsening of symptoms over time for the 127,000 people living with it.
It has been extremely painful and distressing to witness this at first hand, knowing there is currently nothing on the horizon that can offer Gordon the prospect of any improvement.
According to new findings from Parkinson’s UK, released to highlight this month’s Parkinson’s Awareness Week, misunderstanding about Parkinson’s is still widespread, and it’s time to create greater awareness that it causes so much more than just a tremor.
We need to drive forward ground-breaking research: the science is ready and we have the knowhow to make this happen.
This year is the 200th anniversary of the condition being described by Dr James Parkinson, and Parkinson’s UK has launched its first ever public fundraising appeal, We Won’t Wait, to raise the funds urgently needed to tackle the condition head on.
It will be too late for my beloved brother-in-law, but I would love to see a medical breakthrough for Parkinson’s during my lifetime, and I hope that people will join me in donating to We Won’t Wait.
Every penny brings us closer to new and better treatments and to the day when no one fears a diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
To find out more about the We Won’t Wait campaign and to donate, please visit wewontwait.parkinsons.org.uk