Cruel jibes aimed at sufferers of disease

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NEARLY half the people suffering from Parkinson’s disease in Wigan borough experience some form of discrimination because of their condition.

Research by the Parkinson’s UK charity found that sufferers feel uncomfortable or nervous when out in public in fear of being accused of being drunk, to being verbally abused in the street.

The plight of sufferers experiencing such problems has prompted a new support group to be set up in the borough to help Parkinson’s sufferers.

Wigan and Leigh District Support Group of Parkinson’s was founded in February to provide sufferers and their families a base to discuss the condition.

They say they want to “banish” the stigma which is attached to the condition.

Parkinson’s UK say sufferers in the borough are being subjected to “intolerable” levels of prejudice and discrimination by institutions, members of the public and even their own friends.

Over one in five people living with Parkinson’s have had their symptoms mistaken by the public for drunkenness, while 10 per cent have experienced hostility or have been verbally abused.

Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, explains: “Life with Parkinson’s can be challenging enough, but when that is coupled with feeling scared to even go out in public for fear of freezing in a busy queue and being tutted or stared at, as over half people we spoke to do, life can feel incredibly cruel.”

For information on the support group contact Jean Donagain on 07847471640.