Parkinson’s support group ‘essential’

Cookstown 10/02/10'Jack Glenn at the Parkinson's UK launch in the Glenavon Hotel
Cookstown 10/02/10'Jack Glenn at the Parkinson's UK launch in the Glenavon Hotel

A local man who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a decade ago has encouraged people with the disease to join their local support group.

Jack Glenn made the call to mark Parkinson’s Awareness Day earlier this week.

Jack said he viewed the Foyle Branch of the Parkinson’s UK as an ‘essential part’ of living with the condition.

“When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s I knew so little about it. I was directed to the local support group and I got so much out of it. We share our burdens, laugh about our condition, listen to each other and help each other.”

“I got a diagnosis, some mediction and that was it. There was no other medical support. Getting the diagnosis was difficult and it certainly helps to share the experience with others who have been through it.”

Jack said the group also hosts guest speakers each month and provides information about exercise and relaxation programmes.

For the last number of years, Jack has been chairperson of the local support group and encouraged anyone who is unable to attend to contact him directly.

“At the start I was frightened to attend the group. I was afraid of what I would see, because as Parkinson’s is a progressive disease. The group may not be for everyone, but I am always more than happy to speak to people about my experience and people can contact me directly.

“People need to know that you can live with Parkinson’s. There may be constrictions, there is no cure but we can live with it,” Jack added.

The Foyle group meets on the last Wednesday of every month at St. Coulmb’s Park House.

For more information visit www.parkinsons.org.uk