Parkinson’s Disease: What are the symptoms?

Leanne Owen,Danny Owen and Sharon Dunn (L-R), from South Elmsall who have raised cash for charity by doing a sky dive
Leanne Owen,Danny Owen and Sharon Dunn (L-R), from South Elmsall who have raised cash for charity by doing a sky dive

A former firefighter who was forced to give up her job after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is putting her best foot forward to raise cash for charity.

Leanne Owen, 44, of Minsthorpe Lane, South Elmsall, was told the news in February 2011 and had to leave the job she had loved for 17 years - four of those spent at South Elmsall Fire Station.

But the determined mum-of-two decided to help raise awareness and funds by taking part in a 26 mile walk during Parkinson’s Awareness Week - themed ‘Put Yourself in My Shoes’. The walk starts at the home of the Parkinson’s UK support group in Doncaster to their neighbouring group in Wakefield.

She is taking on the challenge with friend and Parkinson’s UK Support Worker Cate Scally who supported Mrs Owen through the first few months following her diagnosis.

Mrs Owen said: “Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s meant that I was unable to continue with the career I loved, and at that time I felt that my bubble had burst completely. Since then, with the support of Parkinson’s UK and my family I have rebuilt my life, and my main focus is now to raise money for a wonderful charity, who support anyone who has been affected by Parkinson’s like I have.”

She now spends her time raising funds and awareness for Parkinson’s UK, a charity aimed at helping those affected by Parkinson’s and funding research into a cure for the degenerative condition that affects more than 127,000 people in the UK.

Her condition means that she faces everyday difficulties from cutting vegetables to washing her hair.

Mrs Owen completed a sky dive last year and has raised more than £13,000 for the charity.

Visit www.justgiving.com/Leanneowen2013 to donate towards the charity.