My Story

At the end of April 2017 I turned 60 and on the 21st May 2017, the Shaky Team and I completed the 81 mile Etpe Caledonia in 5 hours 58 minutes and 2 seconds!

It is more than 10 years ago since I was diagnosed with Parkinson disease which presented itself to me by ‘stopping my right leg from moving’ whilst running which used to be my favourite exercise. I thought initially that I could ignore it and pretended nothing would change and that it would not affect my family and my daily life. I also thought that if I told people that I had Parkinson’s, that I would be, sympathetically perhaps, cast aside by the wider world.
I was wrong on both counts. Parkinson’s disease does affect your family and my partner and daughters have been brilliant and very supportive, and people in the wider world have stuck with me. I’m extremely thankful for that.

Once I had accepted the reality of the disease and started telling people I was particularly struck by the following reaction: “Oh, I have known for years that you have Parkinson’s, I recognise the symptoms because my father has it”.

This hammered home the reality and also the fact that there are many people affected by this disease. I have since met numerous people who are affected by Parkinson’s disease and have also learned that there are different versions (so to speak) and different stages but in all cases there is progression of the disease resulting in a worsening of symptoms, reduction in mobility and for some a gradual erosion of quality of life. Being honest that is scary.
I am fortunate that the progression of the disease for me personally has been slow and I am touching every bit of wood to keep it that way. I also believe that with adequate funding of appropriate research this dreadful disease can be tamed or cured. For this reason I want to try and raise as much money as possible for research into finding a cure for Parkinson’s. My fundraising target is very ambitious but if it is achieved it would fund cutting edge research for a full year and fund a Parkinson’s nurse for a day a week for a year. (Source: Parkinson’s UK).
I don’t usually ask for a present for my birthday but turning 60 is a ‘different ball game’. Of course, I will receive my bus pass, which is enough of a reward for me turning 60, and I don’t want any presents but if you were to insist on marking my birthday then a donation towards funding research into Parkinson’s disease would mean a lot to me.

Any amount will be gratefully received!

So far so good, now for several months of training!
I’m hoping for a sunny 21st of May with a gentle breeze from the south-west and in the knowledge that all of you are supporting this venture which should contribute to finding a cure for Parkinson’s.

Many thanks, Marc

PS I do most of my cycling from Comrie which you might know has the nickname ‘Shaky toun’, and you probably know that most people associate shaking with Parkinson’s.
I hope that several of my friends who are also cycling the Etape are willing to ride with me, slowly, as a team and for obvious reason called this team: ‘Shaky team from shaky toun’.