How Much Do We Know About Parkinson’s?

Spreading Awareness, Spreading Kindness

By Lam Yat Yee

The Perak Parkinson’s Association (PPA) held their annual Perak Parkinson’s Awareness Day 2023 lunch last Sunday, which also commemorates April, which is World Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

This year’s awareness event was held at Sun Lee How Fook restaurant, with over 200 attendees supporting the event, including guest of honour Yang Berhormat Howard Lee.

The event began with a short speech by the organising chairman Mr. Steven Leong followed by PPA President Ms. Chris Chai. The two thanked the attendees for supporting the Parkinson’s Awareness cause.

Ms. Chai sincerely communicated her empathy and her concern regarding the lack of attention regarding Parkinson’s.

She urged the people to spread awareness on the disease and expressed gratitude to the hard work contributed by the caregivers and volunteers.

Following Ms. Chris Chai’s speech was YB Howard Lee’s. He noted that this was a topic that was close to his heart and that he has done a lot of research on the matter over the years.

He said that Non-Communicable Neurological Diseases (NCNDs) are the largest contributor of wholly converting a capable person into an OKU (Orang Kurang Upaya or Person With Disabilities) and that Parkinson’s ranks first in such out of all NCNDs.

“There has been research found that in Malaysia, there are genetic mutations in the Malay and Chinese communities which result in an increased prevalence for developing Parkinson’s disease.”

He also highlighted that access to doctors for diagnosis, as well as equipment and technology like single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), are not readily available at affordable rates.

He also pledged that on behalf of himself and his office, there will be a donation of RM 5,000 to PPA.

The event also had a passionate sharing session from Ms. Lau Sook Kuan, an inspirational speaker who suffers from Parkinson’s herself. She stressed on the  importance of experiencing happiness in spite of having Parkinson’s and was tearing up as she spoke of those who contemplated suicide after being diagnosed with the disease themselves.

There was also an informative session presented by physiotherapist, Mr. Kathiravan, on what are the physical aspects of Parkinson’s and how the symptoms could be minimised or alleviated.

Throughout the event, members of the PPA took to the stage to give out lively performances. Those dancers who were unable to stand due to their Parkinson’s would sit but still gave an impressive performance.

The Perak Parkinson’s Association have been running their Parkinson’s Support Centre for over 10 years at 128, Jalan Hala Wah Keong, Taman Mirindy, 31400 Ipoh, Perak. Operating hours are from 9 am to 1 pm, from Mondays to Fridays.

Please call Julie Loh at 014-3027893 for any inquiries or to offer your support.

Donations can be made to Persatuan Parkinson Perak at Public Bank Acc: 3180036834

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