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When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast: In conversation with Dave Clark

SKY TV Sports presenter Dave Clark.
SKY TV Sports presenter Dave Clark. Dave Clark

In this special Parkinson’s Awareness Month episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, I chat with Dave Clark. Dave is a television presenter for SKY TV Sports from Leeds, England. He’s best known for anchoring darts and boxing coverage.

His positivity is infectious. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in early 2011, but nearly a decade on, he’s still broadcasting, has a great attitude and is raising tons of money and attention for the cause.

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Later this year, he will walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall and climb Mount Everest to the base camp at 17,000 feet to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK. He has already generated £500,000 towards the charity’s work. He also recently announced he will be donating his brain to medical science to help find a cure for Parkinson’s.

READ MORE: When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast — Ending Parkinson’s

During this conversation, we discuss what it was like to tell our bosses about our Parkinson’s, what it was like to meet The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) and why covering Muhammad Ali at the Atlanta Olympics brings back memories of his father. Dave and I also chat about how social media can be a blessing and a curse, commiserate on the anxiety we feel as passengers in a car, and how frustrating it is that people still confuse our symptoms for intoxication.

Dave also shared the following advice for people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He shares this with anyone who contacts him and asks for guidance.

How to live a happy life with Parkinson’s, by Dave Clark

  • Live in the now. Try not to look too far in the future.
  • Always have something in the diary that excites you.
  • If music makes you happy, don’t live in a silent house where you can brood.
  • Dance, even if you haven’t danced for years.
  • Keep busy, but don’t feel guilty about having the odd sofa day.
  • Stay sociable. If your friends don’t ring you, ring them and arrange to see them on a regular basis.
  • Get up. Dress up. Show up. Never give up.
  • Say YES to invitations, even if you’re feeling rubbish.
  • Exercise makes you feel good, even if you can only manage to get to the corner shop – do it!
  • Stretch every morning.
  • Eat well. Try not to skip meals when you’re shaky. Food is brain fuel.
  • Water makes up about 73 per cent of the human brain and helps to make hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • Talk to other people with Parkinson’s online. It’s a really supportive community. Their experience can help your experience.
  • Build a support team around you with people you can trust: friends, neighbours, physiotherapist, neurologist, pharmacist, etc. This is “Team YOU.”
  • Only tell people about your Parkinson’s when you are ready. Other people’s grief about your diagnosis can be as hard to deal with and process as the diagnosis itself.
  • Remember, people with Parkinson’s can do amazing things. Do something amazing.

If you have a comment or question about the podcast, you can email us at parkinsonspod@curiouscast.ca.

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We invite you to add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here.

Follow me, Larry Gifford

Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

Instagram: @parkinsonspod

Follow co-host and producer Niki Reitmayer

Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer

Special thanks to…

Thank you to my wife and partner in Parkinson’s Rebecca Gifford.

Also, thank you to the following contributors and guests.

Dave Clark. Follow Dave on twitter @DaveClarkTV

Our presenting partner is Parkinson Canada.

The organization’s toll-free hotline is 1-800-565-3000.

Follow Parkinson Canada on Twitter: @ParkinsonCanada

Our content and promotional partners

Parkinson’s IQ + You – A free series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for young onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

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WPC2022 – Save the date for the sixth World Parkinson Congress, June 7 to 10, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. The only inclusive scientific conference opens its doors to people with Parkinson’s and families.

Links we mentioned and source material for the show:

Sky TV feature article on Dave’s Parkinson’s and his goal to climb to Everest base camp in 2020

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