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Illuminating Parkinson’s Awareness

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In honour of this year’s Parkinson’s Awareness Week, the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster, UK has been illuminated blue, the colour representing Parkinson’s. The event has been organised by Parkinson’s UK volunteer and Lancaster resident Fiona Kennaugh. Fiona was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s in 2013 and has since been an active volunteer educator and campaigner for awareness of Parkinson’s.

Fiona has been liaising with Brent Lees of BLC Lighting who is responsible for illumining the memorial. Brent in his personal time engages to support local charities and causes.  Fiona said, “It’s absolutely fantastic to have the support of Lancaster City Council, lighting up Ashton Memorial blue for Parkinson’s Awareness Week. It’s a really strong visual symbol of support for the Parkinson’s community and unites us all to mark the week”.

 “Parkinson’s is a misunderstood and very disabling disease; it takes your life essence from you slowly. You need strength to fight and adapt, and you also need support e.g., from carers, wives, husbands and families. It’s hard for carers to watch their loved ones suffering and there is little support for the carers themselves”.

“It is my hope, that in lighting up this iconic Lancaster memorial it will help raise awareness of Parkinson’s and show the Parkinson’s community that even during these uncertain times, they are not alone. The community is standing shoulder to shoulder with them and will continue to work to raise awareness until a cure is found.”

“We have all had a very trying previous year, and the Parkinson’s community has been greatly affected by the global pandemic. Many people with Parkinson’s have reported worsening symptoms. This has been down to many factors, such as restricted access to support from family and friends. Many families have experienced the loss of a loved one and I hope the illumination will serve as a beacon of hope to all affected by Parkinson’s and a memorial to those we have lost”

Fiona participated in a clinical trial at MAC to investigate a new disease modifying therapy for Parkinson’s. Fiona said, “I’m hoping for a good result from the phase I study and hope to be involved in the second phase very soon.”

Parkinson’s had not paused for a pandemic. Right now, it’s affecting an estimated 145,000 people in the UK, the majority of whom are over 65. MAC Clinical Research are committed to better understand the underlying disease mechanisms, in the hope one day we can tackle this devastating condition. With your help, we can keep research going. Are you or a loved one living with Parkinson’s disease? We are currently researching a new treatment that has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of people living with Parkinson’s disease. If you’re aged between 40 and 75, have Parkinson’s and would like to take part in a clinical research trial, contact MAC Clinical Research on 0800 917 7637.

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