MSWA invests in equipment for Parkinson’s community

12 July 2019

Parkinson's Disease is a progressive neurological condition caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. This causes tremors and impaired movement due to stiffness and balance problems, as well as non-motor symptoms.

Funds raised by participants in the 2018 MSWA Ocean Ride have purchased over $17,000 worth of vital equipment, including a MOTOmed, for the Parkinson’s service at Fremantle Hospital.

The MOTOmed creates a ‘forced exercise’ effect allowing Parkinson’s patients to move noticeably faster than the symptoms their disease would normally allow.

Movement speeds of up to 90 rpm help to improve Parkinson-related symptoms such as tremor and rigor (stiff muscles) and have a significant improvement of the fingers fine motor skills.

Thanks to the generosity of our fundraising community, MSWA can continue to support Western Australians living with Parkinson’s, in this way.

Neil McGrechan, diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at 51, will be riding in this year’s Ocean Ride to raise awareness and to do his part in supporting Western Australians living with a neurological condition.

The symptoms that affect Neil are the stiffening of muscles, impaired cognition and executive function, anxiety and slower speech but Neil won’t let these get in the way of him living a fulfilling and adventurous life.

“My life was always fast-paced, full of adventure and fun which then was challenged by my diagnosis. I was upset that my somewhat perfect life would now be impacted. But in my mind, I was going to beat it as I could deal with anything,” Neil said.

“I’ve always been an optimist and actively keep fit and healthy. After my diagnosis, I tried to live a healthier version of myself including fine-tuning my diet and changing my exercise regime. I also learnt to manage the mental, psychological and emotional trauma that accompanies Parkinson’s.

“I employ the mindset of living a realistic, balanced lifestyle and continue to stay fit, active and relatively busy while trying to slow down the symptoms of the condition. My current focus is to rid the anxiety in my life. I hope to continue to live a full and satisfying life with my wife and children, remaining mentally well and giving back to the community that has given me so much over my life.”

Neil has participated in the last two MSWA Ocean ride events and is looking forward to another chance to fundraise for people living with Parkinson’s this year.

“I had heard of MSWA through my personal networks and always thought it was a great opportunity to support the Parkinson’s community and other people living with neurological conditions. The MSWA Ocean Ride provides the perfect chance to fundraise whilst socialising and exercising with good mates.”

If you would like to get involved, register here: