New mom told how she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease while she was on maternity leave.
Nikki Blackwood, an investment bank manager from Sydney, was only 35 years old when she received shocking news last August.
The mother of one said that she knew that something was wrong when her fingers began to involuntarily bend over.
Now she talks about her battle with Parkinson’s disease, revealing how she copes with a “terrifying” degenerative disease.
Mother shared her horror over the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease at 35 years old.
“I was completely taken aback – at that time I did not know anything about Parkinson’s disease, except for people suffering from tremor, and this is an old man’s disease,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
"It is terrible to say that you have a chronic degenerative disease."
At the time of diagnosis, Nikki Brody’s son was barely a year old.
Growing a baby and balancing the startling news was a problem she had so far taken without the help of medicine.
“My symptoms are currently controllable, and I have decided not to start taking medications yet, but surely this interferes with my daily life,” she said.
“I lost my dexterity in my right hand (and I’m not lucky, I’m right handed), so now most of the things are struggles – writing, typing, making hairstyles and makeup, changing diapers.
Nikki Blackwood (left) says the diagnosis was “completely stunned,” which came when she was on maternity leave for the son of 14-month-old Brody.
“I am told to exercise and rest and two of the best things we can do, but I’m not very good at it, but I try to do both.
“I'll try the medicine further down the road.”
Parkinson's disease, commonly known as “PD”, is the second most common neurological disorder in Australia after dementia.
“I had an MRI of the brain that was normal, so I had a bit of a false sense of security and expected a neurologist to tell me that my nerve was stuck,” said Miss Blackwood.
“I thought my symptoms would improve after the meeting, because I would receive treatment.
“Parkinson’s harsh reality is that they will only get worse.”
An investment bank manager says that it is extremely important not to treat the diagnosis as a death sentence, but to remember that “everything can be much worse”
Ms. Blackwood’s story begins with Greg Hunt, the federal health minister, preparing to announce $ 30 million for a Parkinson’s disease mission.
Funding will allow the Garvan Institute of Medical Research to combine clinical trials and genomics research.
But, despite the monumental promise, leading researcher and neurologist Professor Simon Lewis says that finding a medicine is no guarantee.
“We may not be able to find a cure, but we will be closer to him because of these efforts,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Specialized studies of neurological diseases have been conducted since the early 1960s.
However, the causes of Parkinson's disease are relatively unknown, and current treatment plans only mask the symptoms for single periods of time.
Mr. Hunt says that the need to identify drugs that will either slow down or stop the disease is crucial.
Her story tells that Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt (pictured) announces the allocation of more than $ 30 million for research on neurological diseases.
Within five years, about 1000 patients will be involved in the research program.
“Many of us have observed how Parkinson’s disease damages our loved ones,” said Hunt.
"We know firsthand how important the search for a breakthrough treatment or treatment is, and therefore research is so important."
Professor Lewis and Garvan Institute Associate Professor Anthony Cooper will begin recruiting participants for the initial test in the second half of 2019.
For Nikki, she has one message for others in her situation.
"The message for others will probably be" you are not dying. "
“It is terrible to say that you have something like BP, especially at my age, but this is not a fatal disease, and everything can be much worse.
"I cannot change the fact that I have this disease, but I can choose how to deal with it."
WHAT IS THE YOUNG ONLIGHT PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
Parkinson’s Young Onset Disease (YOPD) affects people under the age of 50 years.
Of the approximately 100,000 people suffering from Parkinson's disease in Australia, about 5 percent are younger than 50 years old. Parkinson’s disease is usually diagnosed in people over 60 years of age.
32 Australians are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease daily.
It is a progressive neurological condition that destroys cells in the part of the brain that controls movement.
There is currently no cure or way to stop the development of the disease, but hundreds of scientific studies are being conducted all over the world to try to change it.
- Trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
- Stiffness of the limbs and torso
- Slow motion
- Imbalance and coordination
It is also known that sufferers experience depression, insomnia and cognitive problems.