A BONHILL gran living with Parkinson’s has told how starting her own art business has helped her cope with the disease. 

Sandra Quigley, a mum-of-three, is fronting a campaign aiming to improve research and take greater action to prevent treatments ‘falling behind’ Parkinson’s disease.

She was diagnosed in 2006 aged 53, and is part of Parkinson’s UK’s “We Won’t Wait” campaign – which coincides with the 200th anniversary of the first discovery of the condition.

Sandra, who has three grandchildren, said: “Finding a cure or a treatment would make a huge difference to me – it’d be life changing. All I want is my life back.”

She added: “It affects so many things that I used to just take for granted, simple things like getting out of bed, making the bed. It just means you can’t do things the way you want or when you want.

“I’ve been on my medication since I was diagnosed and have only had to increase the dosage a bit. I really notice that it works well in the morning then the effects wear off as the day goes on.”

Sandra has learned to cope with the physical and ‘hidden’ symptoms, including tremors, sleep deprivation and mental health problems.

She added: “Staying positive and busy with lots of exercise definitely helps. I was made redundant but then started my own business doing some painting and other arts and crafts. It’s been fantastic and I wish I’d done it years ago.”

The campaign, part of Parkinson’s Awareness Week, aims to pioneer more effective treatments for the 11,000 people who live with the condition and improve public understanding of Parkinson’s after research showed almost half of people surveyed believe it is possible to prevent Parkinson’s.