Parkinson’s Awareness Week – on Screen and on the Streets

Published: Thu 27 Oct 2016 04:50 PM
Media Release
Parkinson’s New Zealand
27 October 2016
Parkinson’s Awareness Week – on Screen and on the Streets
Parkinson’s New Zealand is encouraging people to join them for their Parkinson’s Awareness Week 1-7 November to raise awareness of Parkinson’s.
“I am excited that Parkinson’s will be seen on the big screen in cinemas across the country during Parkinson’s Awareness Week,” says Deirdre O’Sullivan, Chief Executive, Parkinson’s New Zealand.
“When I watch our Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes advert, I am moved and struck by how Parkinson’s can rob people of the ability to do the simple things we all do every day and take for granted.”
Val Morgan Cinemas is presenting an award winning commercial developed by FCB Advertising for Parkinson’s New Zealand in 360 cinemas nationwide. The commercial features the well-known voice of Parkinson’s New Zealand ambassador Jordan Luck.
The commercial shows how Parkinson’s can be involved in the connection between people’s brains and their bodies. It challenges people’s assumptions about Parkinson’s and shows how people living with Parkinson’s can have trouble with simple tasks.
“I want people to see for themselves the difference Parkinson’s can make in people’s lives and why we’ve got to fight for better treatments and ultimately a cure. It is not only an older person’s condition. More than 13,000 New Zealanders have Parkinson’s. It can affect anyone at any age,” says Deirdre.
“Parkinson’s New Zealand connects people with Parkinson’s, their families and carers with the best information and support through our one-of-a-kind Parkinson’s Community Educator Service. I hope New Zealanders will give generously during Parkinson’s Awareness Week to help us continue to connect people and change lives.”
Volunteers will be out in force during Parkinson’s Awareness Week to raise funds for education programmes and support for people living with Parkinson’s. Val Morgan cinema network will screen the commercial for Parkinson’s New Zealand from 27 October to 10 November. You can watch the advert and make a donation on the Parkinson’s New Zealand website
• One in every 500 New Zealanders has Parkinson’s —around 13,000 people.
• Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that occurs when insufficient quantities of the chemical dopamine are produced by the brain
• A large number of people with Parkinson’s are aged over 65, however the average age of diagnosis is 59, and many New Zealanders are diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s in their thirties and forties.
• The main motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are:
• Tremor (shaking)
• Stiffness and rigidity
• Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
• Other symptoms can include changes in mood and anxiety, poor balance and altered speech
• Parkinson’s New Zealand is a national not-for-profit with 20 divisions and branches throughout the country and 32 Parkinson’s Community Educators who work with people with Parkinson’s as part of multi-disciplinary teams
• People with Parkinson’s tend not to refer to themselves as ‘sufferers’, opting for a more positive ‘people living with Parkinson’s and prefer to use condition rather than disease (Parkinson’s is not contagious).
• Parkinson’s New Zealand is a charity. We rely on the generosity of all New Zealanders
• More information can be found at

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