I have been truly blessed in my life to have been given the childhood my family worked so hard to sculpt for me. To grow up surrounded by such loving and supportive people is something I will always treasure. However, in my youngest of years, no one captured my attentions quite like my granddad. My granddad gave me so much in life. Love was unconditional. And I'll always have the fondest of memories. But as is inevitable in life, there comes times of regret, times of anger and times of pain. This is a debt we all receive and It's that debt we had to pay when I was aged 10 - My Granddad had been diagnosed with Parkinson's.
Parkinson's is a condition caused through the dying of dopamine producing nerve cells in the brain. It's a progressive neurological attack, more commonly known to be motor based, that will inflict and slow a persons movement. However, the disease can manifest itself in many ways. It can also lead to pains throughout the body and cause depression. These symptoms are called 'non motor symptoms'. The earliest signs of which come with a feeling of weakness and fatigue. So if you're of the high risk age of coming into contact with Parkinson's and feel any of the signs, do go in search of a professional opinion. Other symptoms may appear in the way of; - tremors - rigidity - slowness of movement - aches and pains - restless legs - speech problems - difficulty to swallow - anxiety - depression - memory loss - along with more. It's of paramount importance you're aware of the symptoms if you are aged over 50 - and if you have any concerns please don't be afraid to consult your GP.
My granddad along with us as a family battled with Parkinson's for 12 long years. His health deteriorating each year more than the last. The childhood he'd helped to provide for me and the memories he'd given me at that early age up until 10, then became the most valuable things in the world. As with my maturing years, the disease would go on to cast deeper and darker shadows, as it tightened it's grip on him and our family life. All of sudden, it had become incredibly hard to know my granddad. As year on year, his condition would worsen, striping away the man he was In body, alrhough never in our memory.
And that's the painful reality of Parkinson's. Not only for us but for so many families across the UK. The difficulties of having someone there, without being able to connect are something I hope for no one else. So with that is my plea.
I plea for your support. Support me and help guide me as I run the Sahara. I could really use some help on this one!
Always in our minds. Forever loved. For you Dada.
P.S Huge shout out to Glenn Hague and Scott Wilde, together we raised £11,516.69. I'm merely just carrying on from there. Oliver.
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