Last Saturday, in the Irish Examiner Weekend magazine, I shared the story of my recent Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
In being vulnerable with my experience, I hoped it might go some way to helping someone else with theirs. I didn’t anticipate the impact my words would have.
I’m at once humbled by the response and buoyed by the kindness of people. In an age of online feuds and Internet trolls, good news seems hard to come by; it’s by no means obsolete – trust me.
Over the weekend, I read and replied to hundreds of emails, social media comments and direct messages offering support and encouragement – many of them from people with personal experience of Parkinson’s or a family member with the disease.
As a single freelancer, I’m used to walking my own path and often forget to reach out to my community. From invitations to join women’s Parkinson’s groups to individuals offering an ear or advice whenever I need it reminds me that once shared, any experience is a collective one. No one is alone.