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Michelle Photo

Every day someone in New Zealand is told they have Parkinson's. One day, over a year ago, Michelle too became one of them. 

"When I was diagnosed with Parkinson's, I didn't believe it at first. I thought I was too young. I had ignored my symptoms for a while and kept working, but pretty soon afterwards, I realised I couldn't ignore it anymore. 

I had to tell my family, my friends, and I had to stop working.

People think only the elderly get Parkinson's. That's not true, as I'm only in my fifties.

Over time, I began to lose confidence in myself, and I was worried about my future as I have anxiety as well. I knew I needed help. 

When I reached out to Parkinson's NZ not only did they send an excellent Parkinson's nurse to my home to help me, they sent me to one of their courses for people who had been diagnosed at a young age. 

I got to spend time with people who shared their stories and heard about the latest research and information on Parkinson's. I even gained the confidence I needed to ask my doctor to change my treatment to one that is more suited to me. 

Because I realised and accepted that I needed help, I was able to reach out and receive the support I needed. 

I now know that I can manage Parkinson's. I know I'm not alone with this condition and I know that support is there for me whenever I need it.

Thank you, Michelle, for sharing your story. 

For Michelle, Parkinson's New Zealand allowed her to learn more about what Parkinson's means for her, meet new friends, attend support groups, and have the knowledge she needs to live life positively with her diagnosis. 

Michelle is not defined by her Parkinson's. She is so much more than the condition she lives with.
If you have an inspirational story you would like to share, please get in touch with communications@parkinsons.org.nz!