February 14, 2015 | by Darcy Blake | Remarkable stories of personal dedication and loyalty in the community of Parkinson’s Disease deserve to be told. One such hero is Andy Butler from London, England. Andy has dedicated his life to spreading the word about Parkinson’s Disease.
“My dad had PD for 14 years and the stress it caused the family and him was horrendous,” said Andy. “I am an ex-caregiver. I gave up work to look after my father who had PD. He sadly passed away 2 years ago. I now work part time at an extra care housing complex in London UK. I am the main caregiver for those with PD.”
Andy runs a chair-based weekly exercise class that includes round-trip transportation to and from the extra care complex. “We hire a minibus to go round and pick people up, bring them to the class and take them home again,” explained Andy.
He developed his Parkinson’s People website and Facebook page during the period when he was attending Parkinson’s meetings with his dad. The site and page link to PD organizations are visited by people all over the world in every continent. He hopes to have 10,000 likes/followers by June 2015.
His sister in law Joann helps him with “all things techno.” He works part-time aided by an inheritance from his father. “I made a bold decision to help Parkinsons and to be the charity I support,” said Andy.
He also helps the PD community in a busy global schedule that includes stops at the EPDA Unity Walk in Luxembourg, Radio Parkinson’s in Belgium, Ireland Parkinsons, PAN Conference in Washington, the Capital Hill Seminar in Virginia, American PD Association head office, National Parkinson Federation head office, Hope Soars 50 Walk and Gardens in Albany, Parkinson’s New Zealand, a seminar in Australia.
Andy requests,“Please let friends know that they can like our page and turn of the notifications so they are not bombarded with emails galore, because I post to the page every day!”
With over 300 links other organization Facebook pages, people are able just to click, and not type, so it is easy to use. “An ongoing labor of love,” is how Andy describes his work.
At the end of the year, he plans to use the technology of Radio Parkies in Belgium to broadcast a show on web radio that includes music, promotes events and gives advice on PD.
He reminds us, “A like from your page would be nice for the page, and please remember World Parkinson’s Day is on April 11 every year.” Seems like the least we could do, Andy!
About Parkinson’s Women Support
The mission of Parkinson’s Women Support is to offer moral support, encouragement and camaraderie for women who are Parkinson’s Disease patients. Check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/parkinsonswomen