Parkinson’s fails to slow Trevor
ON Sunday, August 27, Leongatha’s Pearl and Trevor White will take part in their ninth Parkinson’s Victoria fundraiser: a walk in the park.
Trevor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease around 20 years ago.
The walk, which starts at Federation Square in Melbourne, is held to raise funds for Parkinson’s Victoria and awareness of the debilitating disease.
Trevor and Pearl’s daughter and niece will be completing the walk this year as well.
Last year, Trevor completed the walk on his own, completing the two kilometre course, helped by a “complete stranger” who made sure he didn’t fall into the river.
“She was a very pleasant lady,” he said.
This year, Trevor said he is determined to complete the four kilometre walk.
“Last year was the first time I had done the two kilometre walk. I reckon I can handle the four kilometre course again this year,” he said.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Dr James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy, written in 1817.
Dr Parkinson was the first person to describe ‘paralysis agitans’, a condition that would later be renamed Parkinson’s disease.
Pearl said they are still using the same symptoms described by Dr Parkinson in 1918 to diagnose Parkinson’s disease today.
She said it demonstrated the understanding of the disease hasn’t come that far.
“However, there is extensive research going on,” she said.
When Trevor was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, neither he nor Pearl knew much about it.
“It was hidden when we were young and growing up and there wasn’t too much medication available,” Pearl said.
Thirteen years ago, the South Gippsland Parkinson’s Support Group was formed, of which Trevor was the secretary/treasurer for over 10 years.
He has found writing more difficult in the last few years, so gave up his position on the committee, but still attends meetings.
Pearl said there are people living with Parkinson’s locally, who don’t think they need a support group
“We didn’t either and for some it could be a bit frightening,” she said.
To the Whites, the support group has been a source of invaluable information and a place to meet new friends.
After the diseased caused Trevor to give up wood working and driving, playing croquet is something he is still capable of doing.
He said he was very appreciative of the support he receives from the Leongatha Croquet Club.
“They take great care of me,” he said.
Pearl and Trevor have also recently been named as life members of the Woorayl Probus Club.
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