Friends in step together

Lorraine Bingham and May Topperwien, who have Parkinson’s Disease, are walking to raise funds. Picture: Bruce Hunt d406771
Lorraine Bingham and May Topperwien, who have Parkinson’s Disease, are walking to raise funds. Picture: Bruce Hunt d406771

The Perth Hills pair, who were brought together by the disorder, also co-founded a support group in the Hills.

This year will mark the fourth time Ms Bingham will pound the pavement since being diagnosed almost 10 years ago.

‘My mum also had Parkinson’s and I spent 20 years not worrying that I would get it because there was a belief that it was a ‘men’s disease’ and that it would be unlikely that I would get it too,’ she said.

‘I first noticed symptoms when I was washing my hair and brushing my teeth; it was the difficulty of doing circular, rhythmic motions that that was sign.’

Ms Bingham, who lives in Lesmurdie, says her health has taken a turn in the last eight months, but she remains active.

‘Up until about eight months ago, my neurologist said you would never know I had Parkinson’s, but the honeymoon period is over; it has gone downhill lately,’ she said.

‘My mother lived until 95 years old with Parkinson’s; I think I can still get out and live a long life.’

She said her mobility had been affected but she looked forward to doing the walk with her daughters.

Parkinson’s WA community engagement coordinator Lucy Reader said someone was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Australia every hour.

‘We aim to raise $100,000 to help people living with Parkinson’s in WA,’ she said.