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Parkinson’s NSW to raise awareness in annual fundraiser

2 min read

‘Long Flu’ leads to shock Parkinson’s diagnosis; calls for community to step up and support Parkinson’s.

Sydney resident, Wendy Symington could never have imagined that her long recovery from the flu would have ended in her Parkinson’s diagnosis. After years of experiencing tremors and dismissing them as essential tremors, Wendy was given the diagnosis.

“I was diagnosed after taking months to recover from a bout of flu. I had been shaking for a few years, which my GP attributed to essential tremor, as my mother had shaken as she aged,” said Wendy.


Wendy Symington

‘’However, after dragging myself back to the GP, and being referred to a neurologist, it was confirmed that it was Parkinson’s disease.”

As someone who had been quite well until then, Wendy was shocked.

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that is characterised by both motor (movement) and non-motor symptoms. Some of the key symptoms include slowness of movement, muscle rigidity, instability, tremors, depression and anxiety.

“I retired from Primary school teaching in December 2022. I was only able to work for so long after my diagnosis because of the supportive staff and executive.”

“ There are many things I miss, but there comes a point where all your energy is needed to live as well as you can with Parkinson’s disease,” added Wendy.

At Parkinson’s NSW Wendy was able to access valuable support and a community that understands and shares her journey.

“Parkinson’s NSW has been a fantastic source of support, information and ideas,’’ she said.

Research data shows that exercise is beneficial for people living with Parkinson’s. It is second only to medication in terms of effectiveness in slowing the progression of the disease.

For Wendy, embracing exercise is a pivotal part of managing her Parkinson’s.

Wendy is calling on the community to get active this May and join her in supporting Step Up for Parkinson’s.

Step Up for Parkinson’s is an annual fundraising appeal for Parkinson’s NSW that encourages the community to set themselves an activity goal to be active in May.

“Parkinson’s NSW plays a vital role in raising awareness and educating the community about Parkinson’s. Step Up for Parkinson’s raises funds for community nurses, education, and other services. I am endlessly amazed at how much I raise each year,” said Wendy.

Parkinson’s NSW CEO, Mary Kay Walker highlighted that the funds raised from the appeal are crucial in supporting the thousands of New South Wales residents living with Parkinson’s.

“Step Up for Parkinson’s is an opportunity for people in our community to help raise vital funds and awareness,” said Walker.

“All funds raised will help to provide essential services such as counselling, support groups, an InfoLine staffed by Parkinson’s registered nurses, education, and information resources.”

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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