John's Story

John's Story

With walking football, we want to put a smile back on the faces of people with Parkinson's.

John’s Parkinson’s diagnosis came after many years of mis-diagnosis, which therefore proved to be a bit of a shock. But he was determined to remain positive and says he’s not going to make it easy for his Parkinson’s to keep him down. There are things about his condition that John finds frustrating, like involuntary muscle movements or the muscles in his face not allowing him to smile, but he and his wife work together to find ways to manage symptoms where they can and keep as independent as possible.

Parkinson's is a very powerful condition. The frustration is massive, yet when I see a football, it takes me back 20 years.

My wife Tracy, gives me everything that I need. She's given up an awful lot - I'm lucky, but I know that there are people who sat in a dark corner for a long time, the importance of having a support network can't be underestimated.

We set up our weekly game between the Parkinson's guys and the stroke Recovery Team. This group has been a ray of light shining in our lives. We want to put a smile back on faces of people with Parkinson's and remind them that they're still alive to this day,

Relax Steve. You know, we're shaky at the back.

And we just look forward to people joining us to come and share our better life with Parkinson's one. It's not the end it's just a different beginning.

How John Gets Moving

As a younger man, John always enjoyed football, which made his Parkinson’s symptoms diagnosis even harder to accept. But football became a saving grace of sorts, not only helping him find ways to get moving but also connect to others with living with health conditions. John is passionate about encouraging others to join his team, even if they only cheer from the sidelines. It’s the only hour of the week that makes him and his friends feel like their old selves, as the neural paths associated with his previous play kick in. He also tries to do things like yoga to keep his muscles supple.

Since we last spoke to John, he’s had a short period of inactivity due to injury. But with the help of his former teammate, John has been able to get access to the physio at his walking football club. He finds the mutual support of other people with his condition incredibly beneficial, and says that the activities they do together “can only be a positive energy in [his] life with Parkinson’s”.

Related Resources

Here are some resources related to John's story about moving more:

Exercise | Parkinson's UK

Walking Football in Your Area | Age UK

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