Parkinson’s support group surprises its leading lady

Di Libby and her husband Willard at the surprise presentation to mark Di’s outstanding |contribution to the Kingsley Parkinson’s Support Group. www.communitypix.com.au d394972
Di Libby and her husband Willard at the surprise presentation to mark Di’s outstanding |contribution to the Kingsley Parkinson’s Support Group. www.communitypix.com.au d394972

Since taking on the voluntary role five years ago, the North Beach woman has doubled group numbers, involved members in its running and ensured an interesting program including monthly meetings and annual celebrations.

Di (as members know her) was the Parkinson’s WA volunteer of the year in 2010 and, recently, the Kingsley group surprised her with a cake, flowers, a framed photograph and certificate of appreciation.

‘It was a total shock,’ she said of her recognition as an encouraging, positive leader, who always makes members feel welcome and included.

‘From what they tell me, members thoroughly enjoy the group, meeting others for friendship and a chat and gathering information.

‘They learn about Parkinson’s disease and support each other.

‘We try and keep it as relaxed as we can.’

Di and retired geologist husband Willard joined the group 24 years ago after his diagnosis with the progressive degenerative neurological disorder. ‘I had nursed babies and children all my life so Parkinson’s was a new experience for me,’ she said.

‘I took Will along so we could learn and meet people.

‘(Later) they needed someone to run the group and, as I had retired from nursing at King Edward Memorial Hospital, it was something I could do.

‘We have about 70 people on our books and about 30 turn up each month.

‘They are a wonderful group of all ages and stages (of the disease).’

Meetings are on the last Thursday of the month at Kingsley Masonic Centre, Moolanda Boulevard, 2pm. There are speakers, group discussions, afternoon tea and raffles.

Members will shake a tin for the cause at Warwick Grove Shopping Centre on Friday, March 15.

Call Di on 9246 0498 or Parkinson’s WA on 9346 7373.