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Bickley residents Colin and Jillian Wilkins hope they can raise the funds for Colin to undergo Deep Brain Stimulation surgery.

Fundraiser for fight with Parkinson’s

By Breanna Inferrera

WHEN Bickley resident Colin Wilkins was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 47 in 2004, he and his wife Jillian made a commitment to fight every step of the way.

Now, the couple’s latest battle will see them out of pocket around $18,000 for Mr Wilkins to undergo Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery to improve his quality of life.

A GoFundMe page has been set up calling for support from the community to help raise those funds.

Mr Wilkins’ disorder has progressed slowly, however, the last few years have been challenging, with multiple falls and injuries due to freezing episodes.

The 62-year-old is required to take five tablets at the beginning of the day and another two tablets every four hours throughout the course of the day.

His medication is currently costing the couple between $280 to $300 a month and has side effects including brain fog and nausea.

“I struggled to understand why more people don’t have [DBS],” Mrs Wilkins said.

“But then when you look at the cost of it, you can see why.”

According to Mrs Wilkins, it is hoped after the surgery Mr Wilkins will see a 40 to 90 per cent increase in mobility and his medication reduced to a small dose or even unnecessary.

“Because it is a progressive disease, eventually it will build back up again, but hopefully not for another 20 years,” she said.

“Considering Colin’s mother and father are both alive, he’s got longevity.

“We hope we’ll be able to see a bit of the old Colin with a bit more mobility and freedom than he’s got at the moment.”

The couple expect Mr Collins’ surgery will be booked in around the middle of August once he has an MRI scan on July 16.

To donate to Mr Wilkins’ fundraiser visit www.gofundme.com/f/better-quality-of-life-with-parkinsons


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