Christina Wigg started volunteering for PSPA in February, 18 months after her husband David’s death from CBD.
Christina talks about the challenges David faced in getting a diagnosis of CBD, and how she wants to help raise health care professional’s awareness of CBD & PSP.
“David was a dentist and we ran a practice in town. He was just 53 when his symptoms first started, but, of course we had no idea what they meant then.
“At the time he’d broken his hand skiing so had to take some time off work – he sadly never returned. He started slurring his speech and would remark on how his legs felt funny.
“A year later he started to experience the alien limb associated with CBD. It took three years for David to be diagnosed. He survived for another four years, before he died peacefully in his nursing home.
“It during Christmas I decided to take on some volunteering. At one of the PSPA’s Local Groups, I met the charity’s engagement officer Gemma O’Connor, who told me about the education volunteer role. It sounded really interesting and I could immediately see the benefit of such a role.
“David had so many incorrect diagnoses. I wanted to help people to understand the disease, especially health care professionals. My first talk was at Teesside University to psychology students.I was nervous but shared my story and experience of caring for David.
“I couldn’t have done it a year ago, but I feel so much stronger now. I really enjoyed doing it and I’m hoping to give a talk at a hospice next.
“I have a busy life, with looking after my grandsons two days a week, and meeting friends, so I don’t want to get too tied down. However, the education volunteer role is perfect for me and completely flexible, so I can easily fit it into my life. My daughter said David would be proud of what I am doing. I think he would be too – and that is a lovely thought.”