Walking towards a cure

By Ewen McRae

Jill Goss has been living with Parkinson’s for the past 17 years, but the Taylors Lakes woman refuses to let it get her down.

This weekend she will be at the forefront of the Parkinson’s Victoria Walk in the Park, as she has been for the past 10 years.

“It is what it is, and I manage pretty well,” Ms Goss said.

“I do calisthenics to help manage it, and I paint a bit because when you paint you don’t shake. When you’re busy with your hands you don’t shake, it’s when you’re resting then it starts.

“But I’m one of the lucky ones. It’s been very gradual with me.”

Ms Goss and her son, well known actor and Parkinson’s Victoria ambassador Shane Jacobson, will be warming up the crowd before this weekend’s walk.

The walk, which will leave from Federation Square at 11am on Sunday, August 26 is the biggest event on the Parkinson’s Victoria calendar. Organisers hope to attract 4000 participants to this year’s event.

“We get up there and have a quick chat and then warm up the crowd with some hand actions, wriggling our hips, things like that to get moving,” Ms Goss said.

“It’s a big day, not only for people with Parkinson’s, but also their families and support groups. And they’re finding out new things about the condition all the time so the money goes towards more research.”

Ms Goss also helps Parkinson’s support groups by giving talks about her experiences and helping sufferers and carers manage the day-to-day struggles of the condition.

“We talk to people who come to the groups, and some that have had Parkinson’s for two years are still in shock, so the groups help people deal with that,” she said.

“When they can see some of us who have had it for many years and we’re still leading a normal life, that helps them feel better.

“We try to keep them very jovial, but it is important to have a strong support network when you’re dealing with Parkinson’s.”

Details: www.parkinsonswalk.org.au