Hi. My name is Rakesh. I am a founding director of Parkinsons ZA.
I became a Person impacted by Parkinsons Disease in 2005 when my late mum, was first diagnosed at the age of 58yrs.
Parkinsons Disease in South Africa is largely resigned to old age with very little awareness and resources to support People impacted by Parkinsons Disease. We started Parkinsons ZA a year ago to connect People impacted by Parkinsons Disease with the objective of improving their overall quality of life.
Through our partnership with the Parkinsons and Movement Disorder Society in India and the generous contributions from our community, we established the first rehabilitation workshop in Durban, KZN and have since our launch a year ago, delivered 50 successive weekly workshops free of charge to the community of Durban. The efficacy of our workshop is evident in the improved mobility and social confidence of our members.
The most important research in recent years concludes that only aerobic and cardiovascular exercise can attenuate the progression of the disease, hence the central message of Parkinson’s ZA is for People with Parkinson's Disease to GET ACTIVE.
In keeping with this theme and to commemorate our first anniversary, we are launching our Movers & Shakers program. I encourage all athletes to become a Mover & Shaker and help us expand our rehabilitation program throughout South Africa.
The World Parkinsons Coalition has found that every SIX minutes, someone is diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. My challenge to inaugurate the Movers & Shakers program is to run six half-marathons in six months. In the last month, I have already completed two half-marathons.
All funds raised will go towards supporting Parkinson's ZA in our ongoing efforts to create awareness and bring our workshop to Parkinson's communities across South Africa.
Rakesh Harribhai - Parkinsons ZA Mover & Shaker
In March 2018, the Mayo Clinic published a paper titled “Aerobic Exercise: Evidence for a direct brain effect to slow Parkinson's Disease Progression”. The paper cites research that concludes regular aerobic type exercise and cardiovascular fitness to attenuate the progression of Parkinson's Disease.
At Parkinson's ZA, we have initiated the first multidisciplinary programme for People impacted by Parkinson's Disease in Durban KZN and have successfully delivered 50 weekly workshops in our first year, ‘free of charge’. The programme encompasses physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition and psychology with the central theme for People with Parkinson's Disease to GET ACTIVE.
This year, we plan to expand this workshop to Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Our fundraising effort is focused on recruiting Parkinson's Movers & Shakers to raise funds for Parkinson's ZA.