Help for today, hope for tomorrow

To acknowledge World Parkinson’s Day, Multiple Sclerosis WA launched its first event to support people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

‘Yoga in the Park’ was held at Mt Eliza House in Kings Park to raise awareness and unite the community to help people living with the disease.

Musician Jerome Kavanagh. Photo: Hannah Salt.

The event welcomed special guests including Grammy Award winning Maori instrument specialist Jerome Kavanagh, Aaron Kleinschmidt and Aran Zalewski from the Kookaburras and Lily Brazel from the Hockeyroos.

MSWA supports people living with Parkinson’s by providing a full range of services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, counselling and in-home support.

They also have four residential, high-support centres from Albany through to Butler.

MSWA chief executive Marcus Stafford says money raised from these events allows the continual support of people living with neurological conditions.

“Because MSWA is now offering our services to people with a range of neurological conditions, people taking part in our events can now nominate where they would like their fundraising money to be spent,” he said.

“It could be Parkinson’s, stroke, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease or acquired brain injury or of course MS, to name a few, the choice is theirs.”

Parkinson’s is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.

According to Parkinson’s Australia, more than 110,000 Australians are living with the disease, and around 20 per cent are of working age.

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurological disease in Australia, but with no cure, there is a need to raise awareness and money to fund research.

Tino Riccio’s mother-in-law has suffered with Parkinson’s Disease for nearly 10 years, and says he was really interested in supporting events such as ‘Yoga in the Park’ to create awareness of the condition.

“I think it’s helpful because it’s something that affects families, affects people’s abilities, and I think if everyone in the world understands what it’s all about, then there would be a bit more respect for it.”

Tino Riccio speaks about how Parkinson’s Disease has affected his family.