Tulips gifted for Parkin­son’s Day

Kapiti News - - News -

Coun­cil­lor An­gela Buswell re­ceived an un­ex­pected sur­prise when she agreed to join Ka¯ piti peo­ple who live with Parkin­son’s dis­ease to mark World Parkin­son’s Day.

Meet­ing the group on be­half of the coun­cil, she was pre­sented with a col­lec­tion of tulip bulbs, the in­ter­na­tional flower sym­bol of Parkin­son’s.

“Tulips are my favourite flower,” she told them af­ter they’d walked to meet her at the coun­cil of­fices in Para­pa­raumu from the Ka¯ piti Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Ms Buswell was pre­sented with the bulbs by Kitty Fit­ton who has early on­set Parkin­son’s.

Ms Fit­ton, who also handed her a let­ter to coun­cil from the Kapiti-Horowhenua Parkin­son’s Ac­tion Group, re­minded Ms Buswell that now is the time to plant tulip bulbs.

“Thank you for help­ing us mark World Parkin­son’s Day,” said Ac­tion Group chair­man Kevin Ramshaw.

“We hope you have the op­por­tu­nity to plant them and when they bloom, they re­mind you of us and this day.

“When you hear that roughly one in 500 New Zealan­ders has Parkin­son’s, you might be tempted to think that it is not one of our most press­ing ill­nesses. But trans­late that to a lo­cal level and you get a more re­al­is­tic pic­ture.

“In Kapiti-Horowhenua, some 200 peo­ple are liv­ing with Parkin­son’s. Think of it that way, and you can see that it touches most com­mu­ni­ties in our dis­trict.”

Ms Buswell met the two lo­cal com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tors, both with nurs­ing back­grounds, who help peo­ple cope with the symp­toms of Parkin­son’s.

“Vanessa Shaw in Ka¯ piti and Katharine Wilkinson in Horowhenua are an in­valu­able link be­tween in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies deal­ing with Parkin­son’s and the busy lives and prac­tices of health pro­fes­sion­als,” Mr Ramshaw said.

“In­ter­na­tion­ally, we are in­debted to peo­ple like the co­me­dian Billy Con­nolly and the ac­tor Michael J Fox for help­ing peo­ple bet­ter un­der­stand the na­ture of ill­ness.

“While it mostly affects older peo­ple, one in five peo­ple di­ag­nosed is un­der the age of 50.

“There are a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of younger peo­ple liv­ing with Parkin­son’s and meet­ing the chal­lenge of main­tain­ing work and fam­ily com­mit­ments while manag­ing their symp­toms.”

World Parkin­son’s Day is marked on Thurs­day April 11.

Sur­rounded by the Kapiti Parkin­son’s com­mu­nity, Kitty Fit­ton, left, presents tulip bulbs to coun­cil­lor An­gela Buswell to mark World Parkin­son’s Day.

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