Disease no walk in park
Swan Districts footballer David Ellard and his dad Rick will walk shoulder to shoulder at this month’s Parkinson’s WA event A Walk in the Park. Rick (54) was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 10 years ago but is keeping active to help manage the early signs of t
LIFE has not always been a walk in the park for Swan Districts league footballer David Ellard and his dad Rick (54) who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007.
The duo will take A Walk in the Park, a Parkinson’s WA event on September 17 to raise awareness and funds for research into the condition.
Rick, who lives in The Vines, knew something was not quite right when he noticed his right hand was not working as well as his left.
“I had about 100 blood tests, then the results came,” he said. “Look, there are worse things out there; look at Neale Daniher and people with stage 4 cancer.
“I know it’s not good but there are worse cases out there.”
David (28), a former Carlton Football Club player, said not knowing a lot about the condition and with no family history, the diagnosis had come as a shock to the family.
“I didn’t know a lot about it at all. I knew the likes of Muhammad Ali, but didn’t know much at all,” he said.
“I knew it was a condition where people shake but there’s a lot more to it.
“Look, dad’s still working and still doing his exercise and while the signs have picked up, at this stage he’s going well.”
Having come across Parkinson’s WA six months ago, David said he wanted to give back to the organisation that had supported his family.
“I’m looking forward to getting behind such a great cause as Parkinson’s WA, as I see the strain it can put on the individual and families,” the Bayswater resident said.
“The help and support that Parkinson’s WA has provided to my family has been amazing.
“To be part of the walk will be the first of many events my family and I will attend.
“I really look forward to helping Parkinson’s WA in whatever way possible.”
As for Rick, he hopes to see diagnosis of the condition reduced and that the walk raises money for research.
“Things come and go but you won’t get there without research,” he said.