Swaffham’s Sharon fights back after Parkinson’s diagnosis at 43

Parkinson's sufferer Sharon Pope is doing a sponsored walk at Blicking
Parkinson's sufferer Sharon Pope is doing a sponsored walk at Blicking

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s is devastating at any stage of life, but even more so when you are only 43.

Sharon Pope, an administrator from Swaffham, was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s in January.

Sharon said: “My symptons had started with a shaking leg about 12 months before, but I put it down to being stressed or tired.

“The thought that it could be Parkinson’s never crossed my mind – that’s what older people have.”

Sharon is determined to help find a cure for the disease and has signed up for Walk for Parkinson’s, which takes place on Saturday, May 13, on the Blickling Estate, close to Aylsham.

The event is being organised by the charity Parkinson’s UK and Sharon will be walking the 5½-miles with her sister-in-law .

Sharon said: “By taking part in the walk, I want to prove to myself that having Parkinson’s will not stop me from living a full and active life.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting other people affected by the condition from the local area.”

Sharon has set up a just giving page online and already exceeded her target of £350.

Dave Clark, a presenter with Sky Sports and a Parkinson’s sufferer, thanked Sharon for signing up to the walk and is encouraging others to join her.

He said: “I know not everyone can walk that far, which is why our Walk for Parkinson’s at Blickling Estate with a choice of distances, is perfect for everyone.”

The walk is taking place at 32 locations and Parkinson’s UK is hoping to raise over £400,000.

They suggest walkers aim to raise at least £50.

As well as walkers, the charity is looking for volunteers to help with registration and marshalling at the event.

Sharon’s Justgiving page is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SharonPope19

To sign up or volunteer for the walk: www.parkinsons.org.uk/walkblicklingestate or call 02079 639367.