House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Statements by Members

Dunkley Electorate: Frankston Parkinson's Peer Support Group

1:40 pm

Photo of Chris CrewtherChris Crewther (Dunkley, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Last week, I was invited to speak to our local Parkinson's peer support group, who meet monthly in Karingal Place, about my vision for Frankston and how our future projects will draw investment in health, education, infrastructure and employment in both the city of Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula, as well as helping people living with Parkinson's. What I had not expected to gain, though, was such a blunt and jarring insight into the experience of someone with Parkinson's disease.

Before my turn to speak came Karen Beggs, who runs the Frankston Parkinson's peer support group. I was truly touched by her story, as she detailed how her Parkinson's had developed, month by month, over many years, and how it had affected her life and the life of her husband and her family. This reality includes a dozen different medications—including some to lessen the side-effects of others—occupational therapy, and working to maintain what most of us would consider to be as normal a life as possible. As members of parliament, we frequently go out to speak to groups, but these opportunities to learn from our constituents and hear about their experiences are worth much more. I'm grateful to Karen and the Frankston Parkinson's peer support group for inviting me and will work further to assist them into the future.