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Parkinson’s NSW takes on Mannequin Challenge

When teenagers in the US started filming themselves staying completely still, they probably didn’t think it would turn into a global phenomenon.

The Parkinson's NSW mannequin challenge video highlighst the everyday struggles people living with Parkinson’s disease face
The Parkinson's NSW mannequin challenge video highlighst the everyday struggles people living with Parkinson’s disease face

However, despite pop stars, celebrities and even politicians uploading their Mannequin Challenge to social media, the challenge became a little more poignant when used by a not-for-profit organisation of a progressive neurological condition.

Parkinson’s NSW Mannequin Challenge is filmed in a house with people ‘frozen’ doing usual house activities – putting make up on, walking upstairs, relaxing in the lounge, changing TV channels with a remote, playing the block removing game Jenga, chinking glasses and holding a cup of tea.

But the Parkinson's NSW video breaks the rules of the mannequin challenge. There is movement in the video. The moments captured of people’s tremors are a stark contrast in the otherwise motionless room, and serve to highlight the everyday struggles people living with Parkinson’s disease face.

“We’re just trying to do the Mannequin Challenge to raise awareness to people who don’t understand what a multifaceted and subtle disease this is,” says Chris, as participant in the video.

In a ‘behind the scenes’ video, Chris highlights there are about 60 symptoms which attack people with Parkinson’s Disease. “I have a tremor which is very irritating and gets in the way a lot,” he says. “My handwriting’s gone to pot completely, I can’t do it anymore. It affects your thinking too.”

Doing buttons up and using the computer are challenging for Andrew, another participant in the video. “Ultimately research could lead to a cure, but that’s probably a long way off,” he says.

According to 2015 Deliotte Access Economics report, Parkinson’s is the second most common neurological disease in Australia after dementia. An estimated 70,000 people in Australia are living with Parkinson’s Disease, and 32 people are diagnosed each day. 

The number of people with Parkinson’s has increased by 17% in the last six years and the prevalence of Parkinson’s is greater than prostate, bowel and many other forms of cancer.

There are plenty of bizarre viral challenges which have people doing seemingly meaningless things – but the Mannequin Challenge has helped show how for people with Parkinson’s, life is their challenge.

For more information visit: www.pnsw.org.au or call 1800 644 189

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