Parkinsons UK

In June 2015, at the age of 42, Nick Hazell was one of the 8,760 people in the UK that year to be told they have Parkinson’s Disease.

Although a common perception of the disease is largely associated with the elderly, in fact, 1 in 20 people diagnosed are under 40. As an early onset sufferer, Nick says that he now has more in common with Michael J Fox than simply being vertically challenged:

“It doesn’t distinguish between age, race, gender, intelligence, wealth, weight or height. If it were a company, it would be an equal opportunities employer with a commendable diversity policy.” said Nick.

The progressive neurological condition is caused by a lack of a chemical called dopamine in the brain and symptoms include slowness of movement, muscle rigidity and tremors. It can also lead to a loss of cognitive function and even dementia.

As a positive way of dealing with the diagnosis, the Hazell family have decided to set themselves a number of challenges over the next year, including the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, in order to raise awareness of the disease and aid finding a cure.

“The medication helps replace or replicate the effects of the chemical but it’s a short term fix rather than a cure of which, at present, there is none.” explains Nick’s wife, Victoria.

“We have asked family and friends to join us for the weekend to run one of the 6 races taking place and we hope to have a group of up to 30 running for Parkinson’s UK. Nick and I will run the half marathon and daughters Anna and Lara will take part in the Supernova 5K.” said Victoria.

So far, the Hazell’s have raised nearly £10,000 (including gift aid) but they don’t want to stop there. You can support the family by visiting their Virgin Money Giving page here – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Heroichazellsandco.

All six races at BMF take place on the fast, PB-potential courses and feature the unique chance to run to the end of Bournemouth’s historic pier and back. Last year 11,000 runners enjoyed a glorious two days with an estimated £0.5m raised for charity. The 2016 event takes place on 1st/2nd October 2016. To guarantee your place, visit www.run-bmf.com.