What is meant by Parkinson’s 66 ?
Did you know that if you know 66 people then you know somebody who knows Parkinson’s? Yet very few of us understand the impact Parkinson’s has on everyday life. With that in mind, Kyowa Kirin has gone the extra mile to raise awareness by putting Parkinson’s in the picture.
To do this they paired two people living with Parkinson’s and one of their partners with award winning illustrator Nate Kitch. The result is quite extraordinary. They have quite literally brought to life the experience of people living with the condition in a series of highly emotive and visual illustrations. “ I think generally many are unaware of the reality of this condition and maybe there’s something here that people can take from it and relate to. Art is a great way to express emotions because emotions by their nature, aren’t words, they are feelings and abstract.”
A short film was produced for each of the three people included in the campaign. The films go further to explain the participant’s experience of Parkinson’s and how this was converted to art. Hopefully the films will enable the wider world to get inside the mind of either a person living with Parkinson’s or their partner. It’s hoped that people will get a sense, not just of their story, but of the way it feels to live it:
Good Days and Bad Days
David (AJ) described how he has “good days” and “bad days”. One of his illustrations demonstrates a “good day”, where David reiterates that you have to make sure you’re there and present in the moment. The second (see top of page) is a “bad day”, which he describes as though he is being steadily imprisoned in his own body. He says about Parkinson’s: “You fall into two categories, you either let it dominate you or you try and do something about it. It’s an active choice to try and live with it because it does make life more difficult. …
“When you experience a bad day, it’s like being steadily imprisoned in your own body.
“When you experience an good day, you make sure that you’re there and present in the moment, rather than just fading away”
I Have Parkinson’s
David MR is one of the patients who worked with Nate. David found himself falling into darkness when he was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s. “It’s a very interesting position to be in with my Parkinson’s because I’m still relatively fit and healthy. I’m capable of doing a lot, but some things I’m just incapable of doing. It seems to be a balancing act in life right now for me.”
However in David’s second image, Nate has illustrated how David has chosen to look towards the future (light) and harness the positivity to live life to the full.
Apparently most people only recognise the three most common motor symptoms of Parkinson’s. These are tremor, rigidity and loss of spontaneous movement. However Parkinson’s is way more than just a motor condition. There are many other distressing symptoms, some of which you can’t see.
A Wife’s View
Natalie is married to David and when he was first diagnosed she researched everything she could about Parkinson’s. Her second illustration demonstrate that whilst the pain and unknowns might still be there, Parkinson’s has taken them on a colourful path they may not have otherwise done. She says: “I read something about being married to someone with Parkinson’s and it said, “Don’t become his carer. Make sure you stay as his wife.” And that really resonated.”
And her second image:
You can see the other videos and illustrations here: