Young people with Parkinson’s to discuss their experiences of the disease and urge the public to #Plank4Parkinsons
To mark 200 years since the identification of young people with Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s UK (PUK) are delighted to announce the launch of #Plank4Parkinsons. The campaign, supported by Facebook and the National Pharmacists Association, aims to deepen understanding and awareness of this progressive, neurological condition and raise funds to accelerate towards a much-needed cure.
“Parkinson’s is a progressive and debilitating condition,” said Sarah Webb, Founder of SLYPN, diagnosed at 39. “Existing treatments are more than 40 years old and do little to slow the progression – we hope that #Plank4Parkinsons will raise funds for treatment research and positively impact millions of people around the world.”
The campaign aims to tell the stories of those people affected in the hope that by showing its human face, the public will be willing to lend their help. #Plank4Parkinsons will harness the power of social media by challenging the people to video themselves, holding a plank for one minute and simply upload to social media, encouraging their friends or families to do the same by making a donation on their behalf.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that effects nearly one in every 500 people. This means that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time. People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of the chemical dopamine due to the death of the nerve endings that produce it. It is unclear exactly why this happens, but at this stage it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
“Being told you have Parkinson’ is like suddenly being cut a drift from everything around you and embarking on a solitary uncertain journey with an uncertain outcome on an uncertain timescale. I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone,’ says Susan Venner, diagnosed aged 52. “Even after 4 years I still can’t believe this is happening to me. It may not be a death sentence but it is a life sentence.“
Cramping, tiredness, uncontrollable shaking. These are the effects of holding a plank for one minute. Imagine experiencing that all day, every day. For people with Parkinson’s, this is the reality of life.
2017 marks 200 years since the identification of Parkinson’s. Despite little progress on a cure, there is hope. This September, SLYPN and PUK, in collaboration with Facebook and the NPA, are challenging the UK to #Plank4Parkinsons, to raise awareness and funds to directly accelerate towards a much-needed medical breakthrough.
We hope to harness the power of social media by asking the British public to film themselves planking for one minute and donate on behalf of their friends, family or network, so they will #Plank4Parkinsons too.
Together, we can beat Parkinson’s. One plank at a time.