Wollongong fun run for Parkinson’s: photos

A fun run for Parkinson's disease brought 120 people to Stuart Park on Sunday.

It was the first time the Parkinson's NSW Unity Walk And Run had come to Wollongong, after being held annually at Homebush for seven years.

Event organiser Jennifer Gray brought the run to Wollongong after noticing a large Illawarra contingent at Sydney fund-raisers.

"It is hard for people to get there early in the morning, but they got people from Moss Vale, Wollongong and Sutherland," she said.

Organisers Allison Cook, Jennifer Gray, Alan Doughton, Georgia Cook and Shevaun Doughton. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Organisers Allison Cook, Jennifer Gray, Alan Doughton, Georgia Cook and Shevaun Doughton. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Ms Gray's motivation to stage the event locally was her father, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. She also has a friend with the disease, the second most common degenerative neurological condition in Australians.

"The more I read, the more I realised it's not an old person's disease. It does affect younger people, and is even harder to diagnose in the young," she said.

High-profile sufferers include actor Michael J. Fox and comedian Billy Connolly. Entertainer Robin Williams was also diagnosed with the condition.

Albion Park woman Leanne Brennan took part in the walk in memory of her mother, who died nine days after being diagnosed with Parkinson's. Monday would have been her birthday.

"It's important to raise awareness about this disease," Ms Brennan said. "Mum was diagnosed by an eye doctor but another doctor didn't agree. It was too late by the time she was properly diagnosed."

Ms Gray said the event raised $4200 and she hoped to stage it annually.

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