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    Matt Eagles

    Head of Patient Engagement

    Havas Lynx Group, Manchester

    I have to laugh at myself most days

    I’ve lived with Parkinson’s for over 45 years, and my experience with the condition has shaped me into something of a positivity activist. 

     

    With the support of my colleagues at Havas Lynx, I founded Parkylife.com, a website with a mission to fight Parkinson’s with positivity. The inspiration for the project came from an unusual place. I was travelling home from London on the train one evening, when I saw a guy twitching and writhing about. The more he tried to hide it, the worse it got. We started talking and I discovered he had Parkinson’s. I began to share some of my own experiences with him. 

     

    Strangely, his shakes began to subside – it was almost as if a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. I smiled at him and said, ‘Parkinson’s isn’t the end of the world.’ In fact, you can turn potentially awkward situations to your advantage! 

     

    All the way back home, I was thinking how terrible that moment of diagnosis must have been for him and how frightened he looked on the train. I wondered if we could help him and others see Parkinson’s in a different light. Of course, Parkinson’s is a scary disease to be diagnosed with, but there is a whole community of Parky people who manage the condition by looking on the bright side of their symptoms. I myself have found ways to work with my quirks and unexpected body movements and, honestly, I have to laugh at myself most days. After a chat with a creative team that I work with here at Havas Lynx, Parkylife was born. This entire project has been created by the goodwill of the Havas Lynx creative team, and with support from the wider creative community. We saw a need for Parkylife, and we all worked in our spare time to bring the idea to life. The generous spirit of everyone involved in Parkylife is why I love working at Havas. There is a genuine Human Purpose behind everything we do.” 

     

    Matt is a founder of Parkylife, a founding member of www.pdavengers.com and is involved in fundraising for Parkinson’s UK. 

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