“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s on 14 November 2010 at 9.45am. My life changed in minutes,” says Paul, who is one of more than 10 million people living with Parkinson’s around the world. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition, meaning that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time.
There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are lots of different treatments, therapies and support available to help people manage the condition.
Paul lived with Parkinson’s for a year before telling his wife about his diagnosis. He says, “She felt that it was better just to get it out there. I took her advice and it was the best thing to do. I just go with the flow now – if I shake I shake.”
Struggling with his condition, Paul found support through the charity Parkinson’s UK. He explains, “In those early days I was in a pretty bad place. Then I heard there was a Parkinson’s UK open day coming up in Belfast. I watched people go in, and some were in a pretty bad state. I very nearly got cold feet, but thankfully this has got to be the best thing I have ever done.”
Paul learnt to draw after his diagnosis - spending hours awake at night improving his pencil skills. Now he even teaches art classes at his local Parkinson’s group. Watch Paul talk about his drawing – and see his incredible work – in the short video below.
Caz is another great example of someone with Parkinson’s who is living her life and not letting her condition get her down. She finds sewing and making clothes and bags helps her take control of her Parkinson’s. Caz makes and sells lots of gifts, and she donates all her profits to Parkinson’s UK. She says, “It’s my job to make myself and other people better.” Watch Caz talk about her work – and other aspects of her life with Parkinson’s – below.