MBPJ makes Parkinson's
DEBILITATING: Parkinson's disease
affects millions worldwide and there is no known cure
RETIRED school teacher Teresa Loi, 68, said she first
experienced the symptoms of the Parkinson's disease in her early 30s when she
felt slight tremors in her hands.
But she was only diagnosed
with the disease when she was 39.
Mother of three, Loi said, there were times when she was disheartened but she
strived to stay positive.
(right) helps Teresa Loi to paint.
Kien Wah and his daughter Hadassah signing the Global Parkinson's Pledge.
Canny Lock Yi
Hui makes the Parkinson's Pledge
"Take each day as it comes. Don't think you can't do many things when you
have Parkinson's. You can still achieve many things in life. Happiness
is in your hands," said the soft-spoken Loi who has a slight
difficulty with speech.
She was among those who attended the World Parkinson's Day celebration on
April 1 at Petaling Jaya City Council's banquet hall. It was officiated
by state executive councillor Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar. Guests were treated to
lunch, performances, health checks and Parkinson's patients were taught to
The highlight of the celebration was the signing of the Global
Parkinson's Pledge. The pledge was first given at the second World Parkinson's
Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 2010.
The objective was to create awareness of the disease and to press for more
research for a cure.
Loi is grateful for the free medication she receives as a retired government
She hopes her application for disabled status (OKU) will be approved soon as
she will then be able to enjoy special welfare privileges.
Loi's daughter, who wished to be known as Sarah, said she used to accompany her
mother by train from Penang to Kuala Lumpur for treatment.
"Public amenities for the disabled can be improved in the country. It will
enable more people with special needs to move freely. We used to take the train
from Penang to seek treatment at University Hospital," said Sarah.
Another Parkinson's patient Philip Lee, 53, said when he read an article in the
New Straits Times about writer's cramp, he thought he had the same symptoms.
"However, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease by a neurologist nine
years ago. Lee said, initially, he refused to tell others that he had the
"Mentally, I wanted to stay positive. For a person in my condition, I have
overcome several difficulties with the help of the Rotary Club of Kuala
Terengganu," said Philip.
Philip is also active in golf and runs in events organised by the Kuala
Terengganu Hash House Harriers.
He set up the Rehabilitation Association of Kuala Terengganu with the help of
the Rotary Club of Kuala Terengganu.
Malaysian Parkinson's Disease Association president Sara Lew said many
Parkinson's sufferers in the country have problems obtaining welfare benefits.
Last year, the OKU status was extended to those suffering from Parkinson's
Sara said the monthly medication cost for a patient could be between RM500 and
Sara said Parkinson's is often seen as a disease which only affects the
elderly. But in reality, sufferers might even begin to feel the symptoms in
their early 40s.
"Those who do not have the means will find the medication, which controls
the disease, expensive," said Sara.
She said it is estimated that there are about 60,000 with Parkinson's in the
country, and, globally, about 10 million.
It is a chronic, degenerative neurological disease which affects the mobility
of a person and there is no known cure.
Among the early signs are body stiffness, postural instability, slow movement
The next congress will be held in October next year in Montreal, Canada. For
details, visit www.parkinsonspledge.org.
Former councillor T. Anthony, who spearheaded the event, said MBPJ
had been organising for Parkinson's disease sufferers for the past
"I hope other local councils, public and governmental bodies will also
increase public awareness of this disease.
"It has no cure but the patient could control the condition from worsening
if proper medication is taken from its early stage," he said.
Famous Hollywood actor Michael J. Fox also suffers from the disease.
Parkinson's Day is held on April 11 annually to commemorate the birthday
of James Parkinson.
He was first identified with the disease in 1817.
The day is also associated with the red tulip, which is the
international symbol of the disease.
Read more: MBPJ makes
Parkinson's pledge - Central - New Straits Times