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

The Advocate (Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Belinda Cipri­ano

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.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d473053

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