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Swaffham family take part in annual charity walk for Parkinson's

A family from Swaffham has walked 66 miles in July to help fund vital support for people affected by Parkinson’s.

Sharon Spinks, 47, and her son Jack, nine, are taking on the Walk for Parkinson’s 66-mile challenge to raise money for the charity.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable but the drugs can have serious side effects with symptoms getting worse over time and as yet there is no cure.

Swaffham family take on the walking challenge in aid of Parkinson's UK (49466624)
Swaffham family take on the walking challenge in aid of Parkinson's UK (49466624)

Sharon was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s in 2017 and when Jack saw Sharon looking at the event on the Parkinson’s UK website they decided to both sign up and take part.

They completed the 66 miles by walking to school everyday and taking their dogs for extra long walks at the weekend. Sharon is also being supported by her workplace, Chemspec East Anglia Ltd, with sponsorship for her challenge.

Swaffham family take on the walking challenge in aid of Parkinson's UK (49466703)
Swaffham family take on the walking challenge in aid of Parkinson's UK (49466703)

Money raised by Walk for Parkinson’s will help transform the way Parkinson’s UK provides information and support to people with the condition, and the people in their lives.

This year, thanks to the Frank and Evelyn Brake Connect Fund, sponsorship will be matched pound for pound, doubling the impact for people affected by Parkinson’s.

Sharon said: “ I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in January 2017. Without medication, my life would be a lot more of a struggle than it already is.

“Most people associate Parkinson’s with older people and tremors, but there is so much more that we have to deal with that people don't see or realise. Medication does help, but not enough. Having to ask my young son to help me up out of the chair or to tie my shoe laces, for example, is just heartbreaking for me.

“I used to attend a monthly support group local to me until Covid restrictions stopped that. It was a lifeline, to be able to talk to people dealing with similar issues to you, and it made me feel that I wasn't alone.

"My family and friends are a great support, but no-one really understands how difficult life is with Parkinson’s unless you are dealing with it too.I hope, by walking 66 miles this month, we will raise plenty of money to enable people with Parkinson’s to access crucial support.”

Ann Rowe, head of regional fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Thank you so much to Sharon and Jack for taking part in the Walk for Parkinson’s 66 mile challenge.

“Last year there was so much we couldn’t do, and living in lockdown was difficult and lonely for many of us. For many people with Parkinson’s, their symptoms got worse. This year, we need each other more than ever.

"Taking part in Walk for Parkinson’s in 2021 is a chance to get outside, connect with the Parkinson’s community and make a difference. By walking together, either in person or virtually, we’re not alone.”

To sponsor Sharon visit their online giving page

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