HAMERSLEY resident Peter Dee shares a commonality with some high profile entertainers that he wishes he did not.
The popular Perth musician and comedian, who toured Australia with band Hi-Way 1 in the 1970s and supported Michael Bubl in the 2000s, has had to stop performing since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago.
He said it was “more prevalent than you think”, listing Neil Diamond, Billy Connolly and Robin Williams as famous performers with the disease.
“It’s a terrible disease; from nose to toes, somewhere it’s attacking you,” he said.
“You don’t die from it, you die with it.”
Despite this, Mr Dee said he was an optimist and wanted to help raise awareness of the disease.
He and daughter Belinda Hall, deputy principal at Warwick Senior High School, are taking part in A Walk in the Park on September 16 in Floreat, to fundraise for Parkinson’s WA.
“I want to help get more acceptance for the disease and more understanding,” he said.
While most people associated tremors with Parkinson’s, Mr Dee said other symptoms he experienced included losing his sense of smell, unintentionally falling asleep and being unable to sit down for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Mrs Hall said she was proud to join him in the walk.
“My dad has been a superstar to me my whole life,” she said.
“He took us on trips all over the world as kids with his work, and also did crazy things like hire a light plane to Rotto for lunch.
“These days he is finding some things a little more challenging and we have really appreciated the information and support provided by Parkinson’s WA.
“That is why I am participating in A Walk in the Park – so that I can support the organisation that helps support my dad.”
The family and dog-friendly event kicks off at Perry Lakes Reserve from 9.30am, with the 2km and 5km walks starting at 11am.
There will be performances by Flamenco dancers Casa Del Comps and Brazilian-style Wasamba drummers, as well as refreshments, homemade produce and children’s entertainment.
Register at www.parkinsonswa.org.au.