Alison worked as a nurse in neurology and as a health visitor. She started noticing her writing had changed in 2018. She went on to experience stiffness that made it hard to brush her teeth and eventually developed a tremor.
"It took me about 3 months for me to get diagnosed. I remember the consultant gave me some leaflets, but I just threw them in the bin because I didn't want to know at that point."
Alison accessed the First Steps programme, run by Parkinson's UK.
"I was able to join the Parkinson's UK First Steps programme face to face which I really enjoyed. I found it really helpful after my diagnosis. It was also amazing that it was run by people who had Parkinson's. It made the experience so much more powerful. My advice to someone who has just been diagnosed would be to go to First Steps and fit Parkinson's around your life, not the other way around!"
Alison has retired and started her own business since her diagnosis and has become involved in different areas of the Parkinson's community.
"My friend and I took over running our local support group for people with Parkinson's of working age. I have also done a few research projects, I took part in a neuropsychology trial and I have just applied to do the ambroxol trial. For the first time, I am thinking more about my needs rather than being consumed with everyone else's needs. However, I still have some superwoman tendencies!"
Your donations will make a difference
It's been a tough few years. We've heard that getting good health and care services has got harder. Symptoms may have worsened. People rightly want rapid improvements to services and direct access to support from the point of diagnosis.
Your gift will mean we can continue to be there for every step of the journey. By 2026, we have pledged to provide funding for 20 new specialist nurse posts, including specialist support for people who are newly diagnosed. To make a difference to the lives of people living with Parkinson's, like Alison.
Your donations can make an even bigger difference with a monthly gift. Setting up a monthly gift means we can plan ahead and invest in long-term projects. It will ensure our support services keep running. Manage your regular gift and find out more about what we'll achieve.
We can’t do it without you. Will you give a gift today?