Tonight we saw the The National Lottery launch its sponsorship of primetime ITV telly. Our very own Sarah appeared in a heart-warming film, we watched an amazing surprise when Stephen Mulhern appeared on her doorstep! Recognising Sarah’s incredible enthusiasm and dedication to supporting younger people with Parkinson’s, The National Lottery came to thank her.

Sarah had been playing Monopoly with her sons when the doorbell rang, she said ‘of all the things I was expecting, Stephen Mulhern and a TV crew turning up on my doorstep definitely wasn’t one of them!’ Stephen’s surprise was to let her know in person – and in front of a primetime TV audience of around 15 million – how amazing she is and presented her with a Takeaway Getaway of a five star family holiday.

Simone Sistarelli, who leads our Popping for Parkinson’s classes, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, said ‘even when she is going through the toughest of times, Sarah will still find the strength to help those around her. What she achieves, and the positivity she exudes, would be remarkable for anyone, but for someone with two young children, who has survived breast cancer and lives with Parkinson’s it is mind-blowing. I am so proud to call her my friend, and so happy she has been recognised in this way.’

We are all so proud of you Sarah, well done! She added ‘while it is lovely to be recognised in this way, the best part of this whole crazy experience is the knowledge that millions of people, who maybe thought Parkinson’s was an old person’s disease, will get a better understanding and see that this cruel degenerative disease can affect anyone and any age. It’s the cruellest disease, it feels that every day something will be taken away, some other symptom will appear and someone else will need us. Obviously there have been tears and difficult moments but the shared camaraderie and laughter gives us all at SLYPN strength.’

And, if you missed it, the film will air on ITV before the main Lotto results during the last ad break of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, every Saturday until the 9th April. Sarah, Popping for Parkinson’s and the South London Younger Parkinson’s Network will soon be very widely spoken about. With thanks again to the the National Lottery Good Causes and Community Fund.