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Many of you will know Sally as a co-owner of Lichfield Dolphins Swim School. We are raising money this year for her husband, Neil, who has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. His story in his own words is below.
We are doing mad things on a bike again this year, trying to ride 8,300 miles (between us) which is the cycling distance from Lichfield to Pretoria, raising money to help find a cure.
Why Pretoria? Well, it starts with a 'P' and is around the right distance for our mad challenge - Pedalling to Pretoria for Parkinson's.
This is Neil's story . . . .
My name is Neil McDonald. I am 55 years old and an electronics engineer by profession. My first indication that something was wrong was when my left arm started having tremors 2 years ago. After tests it was confirmed I had Parkinson's Disease. Here are a few things that affect my life: my arm still trembles uncontrollably; I have to concentrate on placing my feet when walking and while doing this my left arm freezes unless I also concentrate on it; swimming has become very difficult I can only concentrate on one pair of limbs at a time so arms and no legs or legs and no arms; I can still cycle but feel more tired at the end of ride; shoe lace tying is proving more of a challenge and is done slowly. I have always had a positive outlook on life so I have taken my condition as a challenge to be overcome.
Parkinson's disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking.
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