We had our own little Glee Club at Liverpool Street station yesterday evening. A dozen youngsters from the Music and Dance Academy donned Parkinson’s UK t-shirts and sang their hearts out for two hours, bless them, to raise funds for PUK. They could belt it out, those kids; a great attention-grabber even down at the other end of the concourse where I was rattling a bucket.
Some rude lady kept interrupting them by announcing train departures, so I could only confidently name two of their repertoire. One song was vastly appropriate – Don’t stop believing. Positive, up-beat and a real belter.
For me, I need to keep believing that there’s a cure on the horizon. I do know that this is a progressive condition but frankly I’m not man enough to look that between the eyes. Which does mean, alas, that I find this week’s Parkinson’s Awareness publicity very difficult, as, in fact, I did last year. When I pop onto Facebook to gossip with my mates, I keep bumping into articles about the horrors of PD followed by comments along the lines of ‘my mother / father / spouse had Parkinson’s and it was awful.’
I am still wrestling with the point of these articles. Surely there is no-one who is actually unaware that Parkinson’s is not a bowl of cherries? I know the good folk of Parkinson’s UK have the best of motives and the staff that I have met – including yesterday’s fund raisers – are lovely. So it feels churlish to criticise their efforts. But the fact is that I find these adverts upsetting, even having had nearly two years to get used to the condition. I really hope they are not seen by someone who is just reeling away from the neurologist with bad news.
I think that the issue of which most people really are unaware, is the situation with Research. That scientists are really close to finding a cure – or at least something that can stop the bugger in its tracks. And, alongside that, the paucity of the available funding. When I explain that the trial in which I took part, and which looks so promising, might not get funding to take it to the next stage, people are shocked. This is something we should be shouting from the roof-tops.
Which brings me to the other song which was drifting through Liverpool Street at regular intervals. Jessie J’s Price Tag. Also a belter, of course, but in content vastly inappropriate for the occasion. Because it is about the money, money, money. All about the money, money, money.
Many thanks to all those collecting, giving and singing their hearts out. Don’t stop believing.
If you are not already signed up to GiveAsYouLive to help fund Parkinson’s research, please please do. It’s easy, it costs nothing and it will bring a cure nearer. Here’s the link. http://www.giveasyoulive.com/invite/R9Uvawk1jXFKlO7BZYb0qg7ajEam