The fight to support Parkinson's patients

FRIENDLY: Port Stephens Parkinson's Support Group member Fay Crampton, 79, exercising and having fun with son David.
FRIENDLY: Port Stephens Parkinson's Support Group member Fay Crampton, 79, exercising and having fun with son David.

It is estimated that there could be 300 people with Parkinson's living in Port Stephens and when you take into account the number of family members and carers impacted that tally grows to more than 1000 people.

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month with World Parkinson's Day being recognised on April 11 each year.

Today in Australia, 37 people will hear the words 'you have Parkinson's' for the very first time. That's more than one person every hour, of every day.

The Port Stephens Parkinson's Support Group will conduct its twice weekly exercise program during April to emphasis how important exercise is for everyone and particularly for people living with Parkinson's.

These sessions are held at the Tomaree Library and Community Centre on Tuesday and Thursday from 3-4pm.

The local group hopes to make people aware of the importance of support groups where members can offer each other emotional and practical support, and get together with other people who are facing similar challenges to allow everyone to share feelings, resources and experiences.

To contact the Port Stephens Parkinson's Support Group email portstephensparkinsonsg1@gmail.com or ring Laurelle, the group's secretary/treasurer, on 0412 889 071.

For more information on Parkinson's and issues such as services and the NDIS, call Parkinson's NSW on 1800 644 189 or visit www.parkinsonsnsw.org.au.