Widower creates support group for people with Parkinson's

Anne and Dave Murrell celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
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Anne and Dave Murrell celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

When Anne Murrell's husband was first diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, she concentrated on finding out what care he needed.

But the Orakei resident didn't think twice about what help she might need herself.

"It's very easy to become totally involved in the care of your partner," Anne says.

"In the beginning you're starting at ground zero gathering as much information as you can and getting to grips with the uncertainty of what's ahead."

As her husband Dave's illness progressed over time, she kept up with her walking group and stayed in regular contact with friends.

When Dave died in October 2015 after battling with the disease for 15 years, Anne had the support to continue on.

Parkinson's is a neurological disease that robs people of control over their movements.

It typically starts with tremors, and is characterised by slow movement, stiff limbs, balanced problems and slurred speech.

An estimated 4-5 million people worldwide have Parkinson's and it usually appears after the age of 60, although sometimes it can develop before 40.

Anne helped form People with Parkinson's (PwP) in 2014, a networking group encouraging people to be in charge of their lives and take greater ownership of their health and wellness.

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The group meets regularly in various locations around the city to share their experiences and knowledge.

This week is Parkinson's Awareness Week, for more information about PwP and Parkinson's disease visit pwpinc.org.nz.

 - Stuff

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