Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds is preparing to lace up his trainers this Saturday, 8th April, for the Pontypool Park Run to raise awareness of Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.

In the 2015 General Election campaign, Mr Thomas-Symonds, promised to do what he could to raise awareness of Parkinson’s if he was elected. Since becoming a Member of Parliament, Mr Thomas-Symonds has raised issues relating to Parkinson’s. Last month, he secured an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons where he praised the work of Spotlight YOPD and Parkinson’s UK, focussing specifically on young-onset Parkinson’s but also speaking about those of all ages who have Parkinson’s. 

There are an estimated 127,000 people with Parkinson’s in the UK. By 2020, it is expected that the number of people with Parkinson’s will rise to 162,000. Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological condition; it can affect every aspect of daily life. As well as tremor, rigidity, and slowness of movement, issues such as pain, cognitive impairment, sleep problems and depression can have a major impact on the lives of people affected.

 Hayley Huxley, a constituent of Mr Thomas-Symonds’ and an ambassador to the charity Spotlight YOPD, has spoken to him in recent months about the particular challenges faced by those who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a young age. Hayley is a 30-year-old mother of two who was diagnosed five years ago aged 25. Mr Thomas-Symonds referred specifically to Hayley in the recent Adjournment Debate that he secured. He also praised the work of local Parkinson’s UK Branch Chair Len Burbidge.

 Mr Thomas-Symonds said:

 “I am determined to champion the needs of all those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, whether it be in the House of Commons or by running 5k. I was keen to put on my running shoes to help raise awareness for young-onset Parkinson’s and funds for Spotlight YOPD. It’s also great to be running in the beautiful surroundings of Pontypool Park.

 “I would also encourage Torfaen residents to get involved in a local Park Run. Both Cwmbran and Pontypool have excellent events every weekend. They are a great opportunity to start running in a relaxed environment. I want to thank all of the wonderful volunteers who give up their time to make them possible.”


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