PSPA Supporter, Julie Morrish is gearing up for a 10,000ft skydive this July to help raise awareness of PSP.
Julie Morrish from Middleton in Manchester, is taking on the skydive challenge on 17 July in honour of her dad who is living with a diagnosis of PSP and to fundraise PSPA.
Julie decided to take on the challenge after it took three years to get to the bottom of her dad’s illness. Since his diagnosis, Julie has been keen to help raise awareness of the condition and chose the 10,000ft skydive in support of PSPA’s awareness campaign, 10,000 Voices.
Julie said: “Dad’s PSP symptoms began around three years ago. He was falling backwards for no reason and becoming quite withdrawn from his life. His personality changed too, he was always such an easy-going person but he became quite irritable and argumentative.
“We were back and forth to dad’s GP trying to find out what was wrong, and visited numerous consultants and care teams to investigate his symptoms but none of the diagnoses, such as depression, seemed to sit right with us.
“I’d been doing some research myself online and during a review appointment with my dad’s GP, I asked if it could be a type of Parkinson’s. Due to COVID-19 no NHS neurologists were doing face to face appointments and a diagnosis can’t be made over the phone. We ended up going private to receive a diagnosis of PSP via Zoom in July 2020. Although it was a relief to finally know what was wrong with dad, the diagnosis was also devastating knowing there is no treatment or cure.
“The long wait for a diagnosis meant dad has unfortunately declined a lot. He can’t get about unaided now and he coughs and chokes a lot, making him at risk of aspiration. Although we now have great support from carers and local OTs and SLT’s, it’s been a long journey, so finding PSPA this year was like a breath of fresh air. To finally speak to people who knew the condition and understood what we were going through was priceless. I’m doing the skydive to give something back to the charity, to raise awareness so more people can spot the signs and symptoms of PSP earlier and of course, I’m also doing it for my dad.”
You can support Julie’s awareness raising skydive via her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Julie-Morrish3