Steps of courage for others

Marilyn Brennan is ready for the Parkinson's Unity walk on Sunday. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d406710
Marilyn Brennan is ready for the Parkinson's Unity walk on Sunday. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d406710

Everyday tasks have become more difficult since she received the diagnosis five years ago at the age of 60.

But with her condition well managed and her walking shoes on, she is determined not to let the illness rule her life.

Fibromyalgia and arthritis add to Marilyn’s challenges but, despite having to give up work, life is busy for the mother of two and grandmother of four. She enjoys early morning pool walks, gardening and lawn bowls using a special ‘bionic bowler’ with Bruce, her devoted husband of 46 years.

‘I still do things, but I have to push myself because I cannot stand the thought of doing nothing,’ said Marilyn, whose symptoms include internal tremors, loss of memory smell and taste.

‘The disease is progressing slowly, mainly because I am determined to keep doing things.

‘I don’t do things as well as I used to but I still get them done; Bruce looks after me brilliantly.’

Marilyn is a Kingsley Parkinson’s Support Group committee member and credits the group and leader Di Libby with keeping her positive.

‘The support group is my lifeline,’ Marilyn said. ‘If I had not got involved and met Di, I would be sitting around moping.’

Marilyn’s latest challenge is this Sunday’s Parkinson’s WA Unity Walk at Perry Lakes Reserve, where she hopes to walk 2km.

She will be part of a Kingsley support group contingent helping raise $100,000 for people with Parkinson’s and to raise awareness of the neurological disease. ‘It’s always a nice day and we take the dogs,’ she said.