Parkinson’s charity event walks towards more services

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Jen Harkness, left, Parkinson’s ACT vice president Marcia Kimball, Hayley Jensen and John Kimball.
PARKINSON’S ACT is calling on the community to get behind its biennial fundraising event, Parkinson’s ACT Walk in the Park, this Sunday, October 20, to raise funds and support Canberrans living with Parkinson’s disease. 
More than 1500 people live with Parkinson’s disease in the ACT and the charity says there is no cure for the degenerative movement and mood disorder and often symptoms progress over time. But there are treatment and therapy options that can help manage symptoms for some years as the condition progresses, which is why Parkinson’s ACT raises money through events such as the walk, so it can help locals with symptom management.
Funds raised will enable Parkinson’s ACT to continue to provide and expand its services, which address aspects of Parkinson’s which can not be addressed medically such as therapeutic sessions for movement disorder by targeted exercise, as well as seminars and workshops. 
Jen Harkness, 53, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 48 and says she experienced what people refer to as young onset Parkinson’s.
“I first noticed symptoms, like loss of smell and a stiff shoulder when I was 44 but ignored them until my symptoms had progressed to a tremor in my left arm and leg,” she says.
“Medication and exercise have managed my symptoms so far. I know this won’t be the case forever and plan on fighting and staying as positive as I can for as long as I can.
“Since my diagnosis I have come to meet a lot of people younger and older than myself who live with the effects of this illness. Besides Parkinson’s we all have two things in common: we are not fans of Parkinson’s and we all want a cure or at least something that will stop the progression.”
On Sunday, Parkinson’s ACT says there will also be entertainment by Australian Idol and the Voice’s singer-songwriter Hayley Jensen and Canberra’s Loose Connections.
“Parkinson’s ACT Walk in the Park”, Rond Terrace, Lake Burley Griffin, registrations from 8.30am on the day with the event opening at 9.30am, or register via parkinsonsact.org.au

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