Home' The Tribune : February 1st 2012 Contents 20 THE TRIBUNE, FEBRUARY 1, 2012
Parkinson's patients push the limits
Fruitful endeavour: Tony Herlihy has Parkinson's but his vegetable garden is a winner.
By GILLIAN ABSOLON
Many people with Parkinson s are
determinedly spunky and resilient.
They have daily challenges to over-
come yet they remain active members
of the community with a positive atti-
The disease affects one person in
500 at any age, although it is more
common in older people, Parkinson s
New Zealand Manawatu field officer
Diane Ackerman says.
It is a progressively degenerative
disease involving loss of dopamine in
brain cells which control movement.
Everyone has different symptoms,
behaviours and muscle loss.
Drugs often react differently in
each individual case.
Although medication is a mainstay
of treatment it does not cure -- it
It is important to get early diag-
nosis by a specialist, which is made
symptomatically as it cannot be diag-
nosed by a blood test.
Treatment is carefully designed to
suit each individual to allow optimum
wellbeing and lifestyle.
Deep brain stimulation surgery is a
new adjunct to treatment for those
who cannot be treated by medication
Palmerston North s Prue Billot was
the first woman in New Zealand to
undergo this surgery three years ago.
At 33 years, with a small child and
a baby to care for, she was diagnosed
with Parkinson s.
For 15 years before her operation,
Prue had been taking up to 18
Over the years she had
increasingly frozen periods and
Today there is a 70 per cent
improvement in her mobility and a
more controlled tremor.
Although she had to give up her
driver s licence, Prue looks after her
garden, her home and her family.
Every year she takes on a new chal-
lenge and during 2012 she will be
doing a course in digital photography.
superannuitant Tony Herlihy devel-
oped Parkinson s about six years ago.
He says he lives on quantities of
pills and he is aware the disease is
slowing him down.
He has always been a keen sports-
man, huntsman and gardener and he
is not intending to change his lifestyle
more than absolutely necessary.
Until a recent fall which tore a car-
tilage in his knee, Tony had regularly
been out hunting for pig and deer in
the Tararua foothills, accompanied by
Rugby activities are now restricted
Tony and his wife moved house two
years ago and he designed and devel-
oped this new section.
Michael Tunnicliffe is 80-years-old,
has Parkinson s and will be
participating in the New Zealand
Masters Games in Dunedin next
The retired Feilding businessman
has been training for 100 metres
breaststroke, 200m freestyle and
backstroke and 400m freestyle.
Parkinson s New Zealand provides
a wide selection of support for those
with this progressively debilitating
In Palmerston North there are
weekly exercise classes and monthly
support/education meetings, and an
active social group, walking group
and bus trips.
The Upbeat group is mainly for
The field officer can give advice,
make referrals and advocate on
behalf of members.
Contact Diane Ackerman on
359 2772, 027 511 2773, dackerman
This monthly column profiles the
diverse activities undertaken by
member groups of Palmerston North
Community Services Council.
Busy time for burglars
Palmerston North police were kept
busy with 114 reported residential
burglaries between December 18 and
Although there is usually an
increase over the festive season, the
number of burglaries this year is
higher than in previous years.
The good news is that police have
made a number of arrests since Janu-
ary 8 and reported burglary offences
have dropped to more normal figures
for this time of year.
Many of the burglaries were on
properties where the householder was
away on holiday.
Some could have been avoided if
people had let their neighbours know
they would be away and asked them
to keep an eye on things. This is best
achieved by being part of a Neigh-
bourhood Support group.
Police have asked Neighbourhood
Support to pass on to our members,
and the public in general, information
regarding their National Cannabis
Recovery Operation which is under
Cannabis leads the statistics in
relation to hospital admissions where
a controlled drug has been identified.
Cannabis also features heavily in
motor vehicle collisions where a fatal-
ity has occurred and where drugs are
linked to other types of fatalities.
The annual recovery operation
targets the growing of cannabis,
especially in rural areas.
Cannabis is grown indoors and out-
doors. Inside it can be grown all year
round, but outdoor cultivation is
subject to the weather. Consequently,
the drug is generally grown in Mana-
watu between September, when it is
planted, and April, when it is
In Palmerston North, given its
urban nature, most cannabis is grown
The exception is cannabis grown in
the backyards of residential proper-
ties during the growing season.
Clues to outdoor cultivation:
Higher fences suddenly being
erected to screen plants from
The plants themselves -- 30 to 50
centimetres high at this time of year.
People who are not usually
gardeners having items associated
Presence of newly-erected shade
Clues to indoor cultivation are:
Windows being covered with some
type of cloth or black polythene.
Lights being on at odd times,
especially in a garage.
Buzzing, sounding similar to the
noise a fan would make.
Extension leads running from house
People coming and going from
garage or outdoor buildings at regular
but odd times.
If you are aware of cannabis grow-
ing, advise your local police station or
ring Crimestoppers anonymously on
0800 555 111.
Neighbourhood Support is holding
public meetings in February, March
and April to convey information about
drugs. Check our website pncitysup-
port.com for dates, venues and times
or ring the field office on 355 4468.
More in store for cycling
Last Wednesday the 33 Days of
Cycling campaign hit Mana-
We re at day eight so there are
plenty more cycling activities
coming up. Here s just a small
sample of what s available to cyclists
and their families during the next
February 1: National Go By Bike
Day. Ditch the car and cycle to work,
school, meetings or even the super-
market today. Go By Bike Day
celebrates biking and how it s a ter-
rific mode of transportation.
February 2: Mitre 10 Mega Sum-
mer Mountain Biking Series. Open
to all ages and abilities, this is a
mountain biking race against the
clock. All levels are welcome.
February 5: Cycling and coffee.
Meet at Memorial Park in Palmer-
ston North at 7.45am for an 8am
start. Finish at Cafe Esplanade.
Choose to ride 49 kilometres, 60km
or 76km. A free event, but bring
some money for the coffee after-
February 13: I Tried the Tri series.
A fun triathlon run by the Mana-
watu Triathlon Club for 4 to 12 year-
olds. Come and support your kids as
they have fun competing in this
exciting sport. The series runs for
five weeks on Mondays from Febru-
February 14: Manawatu Family
Fun Ride. A ride for the whole fam-
ily around Manfeild Track in Feild-
ing. Safe for the little ones with the
chance to win spot prizes. Mana-
watu District acting mayor Matt
Bell will lead the riders followed by
a free barbecue. Registration at
5.30pm with the ride at 6pm.
Don t have a bike? You have the
chance to win one! Just text BIKE to
8808 followed by your name. Texts
cost 50 cents each.
For more information on the 33
Days of Cycling check out
Wi Ormsby is part of the Sport
Manawatu team promoting sport and
active recreation opportunities to get
everyone active every day.
An eye on what matters
It s amazing how quickly the
excitement of Christmas and the
New Year becomes a distant
memory as the pressures of another
The good news is there is still
plenty to look forward to during the
coming months with a wide variety
of summer events, concerts and
sporting fixtures. Many are free, and
provide a great opportunity for fam-
ilies to spend some time together
while having fun.
You can visit manawatunz.co.nz
for more details or drop into i-SITE
in The Square.
On the council front, we are in the
middle of preparing the draft of our
10-year plan. This is an extremely
challenging task as we seek to
balance the needs of the various
members of our community, and try
to keep rate increases to a mini-
We re mindful this has been a
financially difficult time for many,
but are also aware people value the
services we currently provide and
don t necessarily want them cut
back. On top of this, new
opportunities come along that are
also beneficial to our community
which also need to be funded. We
know we won t be able to please
everyone, and you will have your
chance in April to let us know where
we have got it right or wrong before
we make any final decisions.
Finally, I d like to ask everyone for
Unfortunately, we need to do our
maintenance at this time of the year
while the weather is warm and
hopefully more settled.
Added to this, of course, is chil-
dren returning to school, meaning
extra cars, cyclists and pedestrians.
However, if we can all exercise
patience and courtesy during the
coming weeks I m sure everything
will go smoothly.
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