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BALLS TO PARKINSONS

22-02-2010

Becky Hurd and David Nicholl

A patient of Stirrer blogger and neurologist Dr David Nicholl is aiming to raise £100,000 to support research to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Becky Hurd, aged 34, was just 29 when she was diagnosed with the condition.

Now the young mother is organising a charity fund-raising ball to help pay for research in the hope that it could give her a better future with her husband John and two-year-old daughter Mollie.

Becky, of Warndon Villages, Worcester, said: “We believe a cure can be found within five to ten years which is why I want to do all that I can to make it happen.

“I was first diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease about a month before my 30th birthday.

“Things have been incredibly difficult but we still have hope. I want to get better so that John and Mollie get me at my best rather than my worst.”

The Illuminate Ball will be held at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre on Saturday April 17 2010.

All money raised will help The Cure Parkinson’s Trust carry out research into the disease, the symptoms of which can lead to sufferers being unable to move or even speak and swallow.

A launch event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Broad Street was attended by soul star Beverley Knight – as well as Becky’s consultant neurologist Dr David Nicholl, who is based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: "I think it is fantastic that Becky is using her business skills to both raise the profile of Parkinson's disease and funding for this, one of the commonest neurodegenerative diseases.

“Although Parkinson's disease more commonly presents in older life, many people do not realise that as many as 10% of cases can present under the age of 40, for example the actor Michael J Fox.

“We really need a better understanding of both what causes Parkinson's and how better to treat it. The money raised at this dinner will help us to do just that."

Dr Nicholl has been performing research into Parkinson's for the past 15 years and recently his own father was diagnosed with the condition.

Becky called on Wythall-based creative agency Chapter who devised the idea of the Illuminate brand and she has also received support from her work colleagues at Jaguar Land Rover.

High-profile celebrities are being lined up for the ball which will feature a champagne reception, four course meal, auction, casino and live music.

Tickets cost £110 per person or £1,000 for a table of ten with special corporate tables, including a champagne reception with the stars, costing £2,500.

For more information call Emma Derham on 01923 264976 or email emma@cureparkinsons.org.uk.

If you do not want to attend the ball but would like to make a donation, visit: justgiving.com/illuminate

Photo gallery from the ball here

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