"I have Parkinson’s, but it doesn’t have me"

People with Parkinson’s featured in an advert for Parkinson’s UK. Here, we meet them as they share their experiences of living with Parkinson’s.

The advert features people who embody the core message that "I have Parkinson’s, but it doesn’t have me".

They all have different experiences of Parkinson’s and demonstrate how it’s a condition that affects a wide range of people. The 30 second TV advert aired in September and October. Watch the TV advert on YouTube.

In this article, watch a longer video with those involved in the ad and hear from them in more detail.

"I have Parkinson’s, but it doesn’t have me"

Watch the longer film featuring the people from the TV advert.


Simon is 41 and from Worcester. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2015 after noticing a tremor in his hand. He would also shuffle his feet, stumble a lot and have restless legs at night. Simon has opened a local group for people who, like him, are living with young onset Parkinson’s.

"Parkinson’s can affect you in many different ways and sometimes without warning. When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I thought it was a condition for older people, not my age group."


Darsha is 59 and from Harrow. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012. She has a left-side tremor, which means she needs a cane to walk. She has a passion for arts and crafts, particularly painting.

"Parkinson’s manifests itself in many different ways. No one has the same symptoms or intensity of symptoms. Parkinson’s is tailor-made for you! It is important that people are made aware that not only is Parkinson’s tailor-made but also that it’s not always visible."


Shafaq is 43 and from Wakefield. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 40. She controls her symptoms with medication and exercise and has attained an orange belt in Kung Fu.

"I believe that it is important to raise awareness of Parkinson’s through the use of adverts on primetime TV as their potential audience is huge. That is precisely what we need – for more people to know that Parkinson’s can affect anyone and everyone.

"I sincerely hope that with this advert people will realise that a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, while being significant, does not need to diminish who you are as a person. All of us in the advert have chosen to live well despite Parkinson’s and intend to continue doing so for as long as we can."


Tizzy is 27 and from Sunderland. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 25 and had originally investigated symptoms when she was 21. Medication, exercise and a healthy diet mean she is able to live a normal life.

"I feel passionately about spreading the word to the general public that Parkinson’s isn’t a disease that just affects older people. I found it very hard to initially accept when I was diagnosed at the age of 25, partly because there was nobody I could identify with of a similar age who was also living with Parkinson’s."


David is 59 and from Tameside. He first noticed symptoms in 2012 but it was not until 2015 when he was finally referred to a specialist that Parkinson’s was diagnosed.

"I was apprehensive about doing the advert at first as I was worried about whether I would be able to speak clearly and concisely, and if I would sound slurred due to my Parkinson’s.

"Every day in my life is different. Learning to manage Parkinson’s has been a challenge and I would most certainly have struggled without the support from Parkinson’s UK, my local nursing team and a Parkinson’s and dementia group."

Information and support

There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinson's. It's different for everyone. But there’s lots of support available to help you manage the condition.