Retired dad-of-two John Brogden, Shepshed, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008. His wife Eileen is his full-time carer, and John says coming to Day Therapy enables his wife to have a break.
“Eileen is absolutely brilliant. We’ve been married for 44 years and have two grown-up children, Steve and Richard.
“Since my diagnosis, my wife has had to give up most of what she enjoys to take care of me.” John, who is a grandfather-of-two has always been fit and active and has completed an astonishing six marathons and 41 half marathons, most of which were for charity. “The hardest part to deal with is losing my independence. Most things I need assistance with now, and it can be incredibly frustrating.
“Eileen and I used to travel quite a lot, we’ve been to many different places, but there’s still so much more of the world I want to see. Sadly, we haven’t been able to travel for two years because it’s difficult to arrange and manage with my condition. We’d love to be able to find a way to do it.”
John, who worked for Leicestershire County Council for their transportation and highways department, says his diagnosis was a huge shock to him and his family.
“I felt something was wrong on the left side of my face, it started to drop, so I went to see my doctor. My GP at the time was president of the Shepshed Running Club, which I was a member of. He examined me, did a couple of tests and then said: ‘I think you’ve got Parkinson’s.’ Just like that.
“I was referred to a specialist, but I was told I would need to wait around 2 months, so my sons suggested I go privately. I was seen and the Parkinson’s was confirmed.
“I remember walking into the car park with my wife and children and saying ‘I might as well chuck the towel in now’. I felt very depressed at that point.
“I go to Day Therapy every two weeks which means Eileen gets a bit of respite. It allows her to have a bit of time to herself, doing the things she enjoys.
“The staff at LOROS are so helpful. The care is absolutely superb; I can’t speak highly enough of the staff and volunteers.
“There is no cure for me, it’s a gradual decline, but coming to LOROS gives me a bit of a break and the support we need as a family.”