A Pinner woman with Parkinson’s has defied her illness by completing a gruelling challenge for a Rickmansworth-based charity.
Emma Green, from Pinner, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in May 2018.
This August, she completed a gruelling, three-day rowing challenge down The Thames to raise money for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT), a charity part-based in Ricky that’s dedicated to finding a cure for the condition.
What started as an idea between three friends turned into a whole team adventure; a total of nine rowers (eight plus a cox) took on this huge challenge together.
Setting off from Abingdon, a historic market town in Oxfordshire, Emma and the team rowed down the Thames passing through Henley-on-Thames, Windsor, Shepperton and more, all the way to Kingston, Southwest London.
In total, they covered around 150km in just three days.
Emma began rowing indoors just one year ago, and this summer completed a ‘Learn to Row’ course at Marlow row club.
It was her diagnosis of Parkinson’s that inspired Emma to keep fit.
Emma said: “In May 2018, I finally went to see the doctor. I’d been struggling with using my right hand for quite a while and thought I’d done too much yoga! The doctor told me I had Parkinson’s. First, I cried. Then I decided that I’d be the healthiest person ever! Exercise is the best treatment for Parkinson’s so I tried out the indoor rowing machine when I was on holiday. It was fun. Then I decided to learn how to row on the river. That’s even more fun! Although a little difficult with one hand that doesn’t do what I want!”
Emma and the team completed this incredible challenge on August 17 and has so far raised almost £2,000 for the CPT.
Emma said: “It’s a cliché to say that you have to go out of your comfort zone to learn new things, but that’s what happened. I went way out of it to find a magical and calm place where I could find some peace. Life gives us challenges so let’s face them head on and smile.”
Around 145,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s, and it is predicted that one in 37 people will receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s in their lifetime. CPT funds innovative research which is dedicated to finding new treatments that can slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s.
Emma’s fundraising page can be found here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/ThamesresilientrowforParkinsons
Picture courtesy of Penny Bird