Former GP, Paul Sinha bravely revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease earlier in the year and vowed to “fight this with every breath I have.” Sinha revealed that his ill health began in September 2007 with the sudden-onset of a frozen right shoulder. Sharing his story on his blog, he spoke about going public with his Parkinson’s diagnosis: “Going public was a massive weight off my shoulders. “Overwhelming support from friends, strangers, and family has been a massive emotional boost.”
Ever the comedian, Sinha is now taking his experience with Parkinson’s and using it as material for comedy.
Sinha spoke to The Mirror and said: “With two elderly parents, and a severely autistic nephew, I’m the fourth most unwell member of my immediate family.
“I have also started writing routines about it all. It can be a bit brutal, but it’s my job as a comedian to be funny and honest. I’d like to be an unofficial mascot for living your life.”
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.
The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are involuntary shaking, slow movement, or stiff and inflexible muscles.
It is a long-term neurological condition that involves a loss of nerve cells in the part of a person’s brain.
Speaking about how he has learned to cope with the disease, Sinha said: “Happiness helps my health. For me that is drinking and dining, the company of friends, family and engaging strangers, and striving to be as good as possible at my two beloved jobs. Comedy and quizzing.”
Sinha, also known as ‘The smiling assassin’ on The Chase, has a treatment plan in place to be “prepared for the new challenges ahead.”
Expanding further in an impassioned blog post, the television personality said he was initially “in shock”, but feels far more prepared.
Displaying his trademark humour, he also joked that a Dancing On Ice appearance is now “out of the question” and the disease was probably the reason for his low score on The Taskmaster.
“I have an amazing family, no strangers to medical illness. I’m blessed to have a fiancé who is there for me, and I have a multitude of friends and colleagues whom I consider to be exceptional human beings.
“I don’t consider myself unlucky, and whatever the next stage of my life holds for me, many others have it far worse,” he added.
Parkinson’s disease is more common as people get older but can affect younger adults too.
The symptoms usually only affect movement however there are other symptoms including a loss of smell, change of speech and an impaired posture. It’s estimated there are over 145,000 people in the UK affected with Parkinson’s disease.
Notable figures who have also battled with the disease include Muhammed Ali, Billy Connolly, Neil Diamond, Michael J. Fox, and Robin Williams.
If you suspect you or someone you know might have symptoms of the disease, it’s important to speak with your GP for further tests.
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