Hitting right note in fight against disease

Pim and Vincent Brown of Riverton.  Seen here relaxing at home.
Pim and Vincent Brown of Riverton. Seen here relaxing at home.

The Riverton resident was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three years ago and was advised by his speech therapist to take up singing to prevent loss of voice.

‘My speech therapist said singing would help, because my voice can drop quite low,’ Mr Brown said.

‘Because I tend to slur when I speak, most people think I’m drunk.’

He said his voice had improved since he joined the Parkinsongs choir and had enjoyed the experience.

‘My voice is louder now, I have noticed a difference,’ he said.

Mr Brown said he enjoyed singing songs by the Beatles for their simplicity, and modern renditions such as Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. ‘I’d like to see us do something for the younger people attending, such as Adele,’ he said.

Mr Brown said his wife Pim first noticed him shaking when driving, which he thought was from the cold. ‘I had to accept that I wasn’t as strong as I used to be,’ he said.

Mr Brown said the main problems he had were his voice, balance, shaking and short term memory issues.

‘I was a bit scared of driving at first in case I passed out or fell (loss of balance),’ he said. He said he still had independence and could drive, but had a restricted licence to drive locally during the day.

The couple will participate in the Parkinson’s WA Unity Walk fundraiser and also sing in the choir together.

Mr Brown said he visited the Fremantle clinic every six months for physio and speech therapy.

After he was diagnosed, he sought assistance from the Parkinson’s Society and became involved in singing lessons and the choir.