Sufferer speaks out to raise awareness

Ripley man Mick Mills, Parkinsons awarness week.
Ripley man Mick Mills, Parkinsons awarness week.

An INSPIRATIONAL Ripley man has spoken out about his battle with Parkinson’s during a national awareness week.

Motorbike fanatic Mick Mills was just 28 when he learned he had the incurable condition.

Now 55, Mick, from Mill Hill Close, needs an apomorphine pump into his stomach, 40 tablets a day and the full time care of his wife, Sandra, to get by.

This week, he has agreed to talk to the News to raise awareness about his condition as part of National Parkinson’s Awareness Week.

He said: “I didn’t even know what it was when I was diagnosed, I had to look it up in a medical journal. That was 28 years ago now.

“The doctor said don’t worry it won’t kill you – they still tell me the same thing now, there’s nothing they can do, there’s no cure, you just have to live with it.”

A range of events are taking place around the country as part of the week from information fairs to fundraising events for the research charity Parkinson’s UK.

Mick said his conditions include a continuous shaking, dribbling and a difficulty walking. There is a strong chance he will suffer from dementia in later life.

Before being diagnosed, he used to enjoy rambling in the Dales, asometimes walking 40 miles over a weekend. He also loved riding motorbikes.

Despite his condition, father-of-two Mick continued to work for 17 years until his symptoms worsened.

Sadly he lost his job at Trace Polythene in Alfreton, his house and his driving licence within just six months.

But the upbeat Ripley man still runs a support group for local Parkinson’s sufferers and has raised more than £20,000 for various charities over the last decade. He has also organised a hugely successful fundraising walk from Ripley to Derby for the past six years, which has seen as many as 80 people take part. It will take place on July 16 this year.

Proud wife of 19 years, Sandra, 56, said she would not have him any other way, adding: “It doesn’t bother me, I met him when he already had it you see. I just take people for who they are.”