Parkinson's real lives


In October 1999, when trying to complete an auction contract, real estate agent Bernard McGrath suddenly noticed that his handwriting had become tiny. He was only 42, his health had been good and there was no trace of Parkinson’s disease in his family.

“Liz would have to dress me as my tremor left me unable to do up buttons or tie my shoe laces.”

While the diagnosis was distressing to Bernard and his wife, Liz, they and their two children continued on as usual for the next few years, but by mid-2004 Bernard’s disease had deteriorated drastically.

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Glenda Reichman was 39 years old when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004. She was running a business and leading a happy, healthy life with her husband and two boys.

‘I noticed that my fingers on my right hand were not moving properly and they were quite stiff. I had difficulty waving and brushing my teeth’, said Glenda.

‘My handwriting had also become quite small.’

Like many others, Glenda had no family history of the disease or any clues as to why she might have developed it. ‘The diagnosis was obviously a huge shock to all the family, but as it was only slowly progressing with mild symptoms, life carried on as normal.

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