Mum, 48, faces battle after Parkinson's diagnosis

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Emma Tumelty and her grandaughter Eve Barwise
Emma Tumelty and her grandaughter Eve Barwise

Emma Tumelty’s world was turned upside down eight months ago when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The mother-of-four said without the support of her family, friends and a local charity she would not have been able to cope as well as she has.

She is now organising a fundraiser to say thank you to those who have helped and hopes people will get behind her to raise cash for Parkinson’s UK.

Emma, who lives at Mirehouse, believes she is one of the youngest people in west Cumbria at 48 to be diagnosed with the condition.

Shortly after her diagnosis, she contacted the chair of the West Cumbria branch of Parkinson’s UK, John Kane, who Emma said was amazing.

As well as giving her emotional support, the organisation also pointed her in the right direction for medical care.

“Without them I don’t know what I would have done as they were fantastic,” said Emma.

“It’s all been a bit surreal and traumatic because I have never known anybody with Parkinson’s so it’s something you don’t think will happen to you.”

One of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s is a tremor, and Emma said she finds it hard to control.

“You find you isolate yourself as you become very self-conscious about the tremor as it can happen any time, such as due to a change in mood and can be uncontrollable.There’s no cure, you have to just try to manage with medication,” she said.

“I’m never going to get any better, it’s only going to get worse, and at what rate I don’t know.”

Emma has four daughters and two grandchildren, and said her family have been her rock following her diagnosis.

“They’ve been fabulous,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

The charity night takes place tomorrow (Friday) at 7pm in the Marchon Club on Whitehaven’s Coach Road. There will be live music by Amy Morton, Beth Clarke, Reay McKew and Malcolm Dowler. Charles Maudling will compere the event. Emma thanked everyone for their support.

Tickets are £5 available from Threads Menswear on King Street and from Emma on 077140 18683.

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