By Alesha Capone
Point Cook husband and wife Peter and Carmel Wall want people living with Parkinson’s to know they are not alone.
Mr and Mrs Wall, two founding members of the ParKanDo peer support group, said one of the reasons behind the group was “to help people know they are not isolated and there is help out there”.
Mr Wall is a co-leader of the ParKanDo, along with Brooklyn resident Pam West, while Mrs Wall is treasurer.
Mr Wall said ParKanDo also aimed to get people involved in physical and social activities, and has been running a regular strength and balance class on Zoom, in partnership with Victoria University’s Werribee gym, during the pandemic.
Mr Wall said that although Parkinson’s is the second-most common neurological condition for Australians to be diagnosed with, some people do not know much about the illness.
It is estimated that 27,000 Victorians are living with Parkinson’s, with 18 per cent of people diagnosed while aged under 65 years old.
There is no known cause or cure for the illness, which has symptoms including stiffened muscles, slowing movement, tremors, pain, depression, speech changes and loss of facial expression.
Mrs Wall was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 13 years ago.
“It can be a very isolating disease, it’s much easier to stay home and not go out, if you have trouble walking and talking,” she said.
However, Mrs Wall said she did not want to be defined by her diagnosis.
“I’m still me,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Wall have encouraged residents of the west to get behind the Parkinson’s Victoria’s October fundraising event, 27forParkinson’s.
Details: www.27forparkinsons.org.au or 1800 644 189.
Contact email@example.com for details of ParKanDo.