Peter Sturman

Cindy’s story

Fundraising for Parkinson’s UK
raised of £1,000 target
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World Parkinson’s Day, 11 April 2024
Parkinson’s UK

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RCN 258197 and Scotland SC037554
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Hi my name is Peter and thank you for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Every hour, 2 more people are diagnosed with Parkinson's. This is my wife Cindy's story - she is one of around 153,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK:

I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1996, when I was 49 years old.

It took me a long time to accept.

In common with many newly diagnosed people, particularly those diagnosed at a relatively young age, I simply did not believe it.

I was diagnosed a few weeks before I was due to be married. I asked Peter if he still wanted to marry me? Fortunately we have now been married for nearly 28 years.

That first diagnosis, particularly when I came to accept it, changed my whole outlook on life.

Being told I had Parkinson’s. Being told I had an incurable progressive condition. Caused me to reassess my life.

It is a shock. It knocks you for six.

When I started to get over that initial setback and accepted my condition, I decided I was not going to let it dictate my life.

I have always been positive and a fighter. I have continued with that mindset for the last 28 years.

Parkinson’s is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.

Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. A reduction in dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

A lot of people associate Parkinson’s with tremors. I have never had tremors.

There are more than 40 symptoms but Parkinson's affects everyone differently. Not everyone will experience all the symptoms.

The first thing I noticed was that I lost my sense of smell. My handwriting became like a small spider crawling across the paper.

I have been on medication since I was first diagnosed. In the main, my meds are dopamine replacement drugs.

Over the years my condition has developed. It has been controlled by the medication. I now take eight tablets a day, most of them at three hourly intervals, mainly to keep my dopamine levels up.

I get dizzy spells, particularly when I stand up. A few years ago I had a fall as a result of one of those dizzy spells and broke my neck. That took some recovering from!

I have difficulty walking because of the Parkinson’s, I can freeze when trying to walk through a doorway, my voice is very quiet. When I walk into a room I feel everyone is watching me, I get hallucinations because of both the Parkinson’s and a side effect of my medication.

There are definitely drugs and procedures that help, however there is no cure for Parkinson’s. We don't yet know exactly why people get Parkinson's.

I want to raise as much money as possible for Parkinson’s UK. Not necessarily for me. My Parkinson’s is well advanced.

Having lived with it for so long I dream of a time when there is a cure so that nobody else has to live with the condition for years and years. Even better, a time when it can be prevented.

I know these are lofty goals.

In the meantime I want Parkinson’s UK to be in the best possible position to help & campaign for those of us currently living with the condition and those who will be told, tomorrow, that they have an incurable degenerative condition.

Please consider taking a moment of your time to donate to a cause that is doing so much for and giving hope to people like me and (sadly) those who will follow.

Thank you,

Cindy xxx

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About the charity

Parkinson’s UK

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 258197 and Scotland SC037554
Anyone can get Parkinson’s. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet. Funding research into the most promising treatments, we’re getting closer to a cure. Until then, we're improving life for people with Parkinson’s, and the people in their lives. Together we'll find a cure.

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