Father and daughter step out to fundraise for a worthy cause

Father and daughter David Sweetman and Caroline Ball will embark on the fundraising walk. Picture: C

Father and daughter David Sweetman and Caroline Ball will embark on the fundraising walk. Picture: Courtesy of Mr Sweetman - Credit: Archant

A man diagnosed with Parkinson's almost 20 years ago will step out on a fundraising walk this weekend.

David Sweetman, 67, will be joined by his daughter Caroline Ball, 33, as they walk five-and-a-half miles for Parkinson's UK tomorrow.

They are both walking to find a cure, as they take part in the Walk for Parkinson's at Blickling Estate in Norfolk.

Mr Sweetman was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1998 when he was 48. He said: 'We are taking part because we have first-hand experience of the problems that Parkinson's can bring, living with the condition has shown me the importance of funding research to find treatments and a cure for the condition.'

Mr Sweetman has already benefited from research into Parkinson's as he has had Deep Brain Stimulation, which involves implanting very fine wires, with electrodes at their tips, into the brain. Whilst this is not a cure, it can help with the symptoms of Parkinson's.

He added: 'I underwent successful and life changing Deep Brain Stimulation treatment for the condition in March last year at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, and it is as a tribute to the team there that I am able to take part in this walk. I was fitted with a neuro-stimulator, and this alongside a huge reduction in medication has proved to be remarkable.

'With my new found zest for life I am pleased to be able to take part in this walk with my youngest daughter Caroline representing the rest of my family whose lives have also been affected in so many ways by my condition.

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'We're looking forward to the walk and also being able to share experiences with the other people taking part.'

The father and daughter have already raised more than £550 for Parkinson's UK but hope to push their total even higher. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dadplusdaughter

The Walk for Parkinson's will feature a range of distances around the grounds of the estate – with a 2.5 mile and 5.5 mile walk to choose from. All money raised will help provide support and information for people affected by Parkinson's and to help find better treatments, and ultimately a cure.

To sign up visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/walkblicklingestate or call 0207 963 9367