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CURE PARKINSON’S: Looking back at national charity’s humble beginnings

 Published on: 7th February 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

Since it was founded in Croxley in 2005, Cure Parkinson’s has made leaps and bounds in the quest for a cure.

Set up by chartered surveyor Tom Isaacs after his diagnosis aged only 26, the charity’s first headquarters was a house in Croxley, where Tom and his wife Lyndsey lived for many years.

Tom first made headlines in 2002, when he embarked on a 4,500-mile walk around the coastline of Britain and raised more than £350,000. A year later, he teamed up with Sir Richard Nichols, air vice-marshal Michael Dicken, and Sir David Jones, all of whom were frustrated by a lack of progress in finding a cure for Parkinson’s, to found the charity.

A charity spokesperson said: “Tom had the feisty, irreverent manner that matched the new organisation, which is exactly what we needed, so we let him loose to see what damage he could do.”

Not long after the charity’s establishment, Tom started forging international collaborations. The first was with the Swedish neuroscientist Patrik Brundin, who developed a ground-breaking programme of clinical trials. The first publication of this programme listed Tom’s name as a co-author, blurring the boundaries between doctor and patient and testifying to his growing expertise.

Crucially, Tom never stopped in his quest for a cure. Between 2012 and 2017, he participated in a revolutionary trial that saw implants surgically introduced into the bodies of 41 people with Parkinson’s in the hope that the cells contributing to the disease could be repaired. On May 31, 2017, shortly after the trial was completed, Tom died of sudden heart failure aged 49.

Cure Parkinson’s relocated to Newhall Farm, Rickmansworth, to accommodate its rapidly growing size, and then on to London, where it is still based today.

A legacy Planting for a Cure woodland at Micklefield Hall attests to the charity’s local roots.

Photo Caption: Tom Isaacs outside of the offices at Newhall Farm, Rickmansworth

Photo Credit: Cure Parkinson’s

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