A new mother revealed how she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease while still on maternity leave.
Nikki Blackwood, an investment bank manager in Sydney, was only 35 when he received the shocking news in August of last year.
One's mother said that she knew something was wrong when her fingers began to involuntarily bend.
Now, he talked about his battle with Parkinson's, revealing how he confronts the "terrifying" degenerative disease.
A mother shared her horror for being diagnosed with Parkinson at age 35
"I was completely taken aback – I did not know anything about Parkinson's disease at the time, apart from the fact that people were suffering from tremors and it's an older person's illness," he told the Daily Mail Australia.
"It's terrifying to know you have a chronic degenerative disease."
At the time of the diagnosis, Nikki's son, Brodie, was only a year old.
Raising a child and balancing the surprising news was a challenge – one that has so far taken place without the help of drugs.
"My symptoms are manageable at the moment and I have made a choice not to start drugs yet, yes, it definitely hinders my everyday life," he said.
"I lost my dexterity in my right hand (and unlucky for me I'm right-handed) so many things are now a struggle: writing, writing, doing hair and makeup, changing diapers.
Nikki Blackwood (left) says she was "completely blinded" by the diagnosis, which arrived while she was on maternity leave for her 14-month-old son Brodie
"They tell me to exercise and rest and two of the best things we can do, none of which are very good but I'm trying to do both.
"Pharmacy, I'll try later."
Parkinson's disease, commonly known as "PD", is the second most common neurological disease in Australia behind dementia.
"I had a normal brain MRI, so I was lulled by a false sense of security and I expected the neurologist to tell me I had a nerve trapped," Mrs. Blackwood said.
"I thought my symptoms would be improved after the appointment because I would receive treatment.
"With Parkinson's, the harsh reality is that they will continue to get worse."
The director of the investment bank states that it is crucial not to consider the diagnosis as a death sentence and to remember instead that "things could be much worse"
Blackwood's story comes when federal health minister Greg Hunt prepares to announce 30 million dollars of funding for the Parkinson's disease mission.
The funding will allow the Garvan Institute of Medical Research to combine clinical trials and genomics research.
But despite the monumental commitment, Professor Simon Lewis, chief researcher and neurologist, says that finding a cure is not a guarantee.
"We may not find a cure, but we'll be closer to one because of this effort," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The research dedicated to neurological disease has been conducted since the beginning of the years & # 60;
Also in this case, the causes of Parkinson's are relatively unknown and current treatment plans mask the symptoms only for sporadic periods of time.
Mr. Hunt says it is crucial to identify drugs that slow or stop the disease.
His story comes as Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt (in the photo) announces more than $ 30 million in funding for neurological disease research
Approximately 1000 patients will be involved in the research program over five years.
"Many of us have seen Parkinson's devastating our loved ones," said Hunt.
"We know firsthand how critical the search for a cure or a revolutionary treatment is and that is why research is so important".
Associate professor Antony Cooper of Professor Lewis and Garvan Institute will begin recruiting participants to the initial trial in the second half of 2019.
For Nikki, he has a message for others in his situation.
"The message to others would probably be" you are not dying ".
"It's a horrendous thing that you're told you have something like PD, especially at my age, but it's not a terminal illness and things could be much worse.
"I can not change the fact that I have this disease, but I can choose how to deal with it."
WHAT ARE THE YOUNG PEOPLE ON PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
The juvenile onset of Parkinson's disease (YOPD) affects people under age 50.
Of the approximately 100,000 people suffering from Parkinson's in Australia, about 5% are under the age of 50. Parkinson's is usually diagnosed in patients over 60 years.
Every day 32 Australians are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
It is a progressive neurological condition that destroys cells in the part of the brain that controls movement.
There is currently no cure and no way to stop the progression of the disease, but hundreds of scientific studies are underway all over the world to try and change it.
- Tremors of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
- Stiffness of the limbs and of the trunk
- Slow motion
- Compromised balance and coordination
Sufferers are also known to experience depression, insomnia and cognitive problems.