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    Parky Profiles: Guy Deacon

    enJune 08, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Guy Deacon's African journeyA former army officer with Parkinson's disease completed a remarkable journey driving the length of Africa, inspiring resilience and determination despite challenges like the COVID epidemic, hostile border guards, and Parkinson's symptoms.

      Guy Deacon, a former army officer diagnosed with Parkinson's, embarked on a remarkable journey driving the length of Africa in 2020. Despite facing challenges like the COVID epidemic, hostile border guards, and Parkinson's symptoms, he completed the journey in late 2022. His book, "Running on Empty," offers an inspiring account of resilience and determination. Guy joined the army following in his father's footsteps and had a successful career, culminating in his work with the UN in the Congo during the aftermath of the Rwandan conflict. He left the army on a high note, having contributed positively to the future of the Royal Army Corps and receiving an OBE. Despite his diagnosis, he continues to live life to the fullest, demonstrating that Parkinson's doesn't define him.

    • Self-awareness and Health ChecksEven fit individuals can develop health issues without immediate symptoms, emphasizing the importance of self-awareness, regular health checks, and the support of loved ones in recognizing and addressing health concerns

      Even fit individuals can develop health issues, and these issues may not be immediately apparent to the person experiencing them or those close to them. The speaker, a former army officer, shared his experience of experiencing symptoms of Parkinson's disease, which went unnoticed by him for an extended period. He attributed his lack of self-awareness to the challenging circumstances he faced during his military service, including long commutes and an unenjoyable assignment. Despite being physically active, he didn't prioritize regular exercise, which might have helped him notice the subtle changes in his body earlier. His wife and nephew noticed the symptoms when he returned from a long deployment in the Congo, where he had been away for 18 months. They encouraged him to seek medical advice, ultimately leading to a Parkinson's diagnosis. This story underscores the importance of self-awareness, regular health checks, and the support of loved ones in recognizing and addressing health concerns.

    • Downplaying Impact of Parkinson's DiseaseDespite being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, some individuals may try to downplay its impact and continue working, with support from understanding superiors.

      Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the army, the speaker downplayed its impact and continued to work, with support from his superiors. Prior to the diagnosis, he attributed various symptoms to other causes and didn't connect them. When he informed his wife, he tried to minimize the situation. The army sent him to Middlesbrough for treatment, where he was prescribed medication. There was no question of his army career ending, and his superior, David Shaw, was understanding and supportive. The speaker tried to hide his condition and carry on as normal, which he managed to do for a significant period.

    • Supportive work environmentsSupportive work environments can enable individuals with health challenges to focus on their strengths and contribute effectively, allowing them to thrive and achieve their goals.

      Supportive work environments can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals dealing with health challenges. The speaker, who has experienced Parkinson's disease, shared how the army provided unwavering support during his service, enabling him to continue working despite his condition. He emphasized that employers could learn from this approach, as it allowed him to focus on his strengths and contribute effectively to his role. The army's adaptability was crucial in accommodating his needs, such as relying on others to take notes due to his inability to write clearly. However, he also acknowledged that there were instances where he tried to hide his condition and pretended to be more productive than he was, which was not beneficial for anyone. The speaker also highlighted the importance of self-confidence and determination in overcoming challenges, as he had long-term plans to embark on a journey across Africa despite his condition. His experience shows that with the right support, individuals can continue to thrive and achieve their goals.

    • Determination and Positive AttitudePeople with Parkinson's disease can overcome challenges and achieve their goals with determination and a positive attitude, even during difficult times. Adaptability is also crucial in navigating potential complications.

      Determination and a positive attitude can help individuals with Parkinson's disease overcome challenges and continue to pursue their goals, even during difficult times. The speaker, despite having Parkinson's and facing obstacles like travel restrictions due to COVID-19, remained determined to complete his journey and raise awareness about the disease. He showed that with the right mindset and adaptability, people with Parkinson's can still achieve their objectives and inspire others. However, it's important to ensure proper planning and communication to navigate potential complications.

    • Determination and adaptabilityDetermination and adaptability can turn a personal mission into a successful project, even during challenging times like COVID-19. With the right mindset, patience, and persistence, goals can be achieved.

      Determination and adaptability can turn a personal mission into a captivating journey that raises awareness and funds for a cause. During COVID-19, John, who is on a mission to spread awareness about Parkinson's disease, met Thomas, the CEO of the Cure Park, and Rob, a filmmaker. Together, they turned John's journey into a film project, which gained significant attention and support. John's experience crossing borders in Africa, despite the challenges, shows that with the right paperwork, patience, and persistence, goals can be achieved. The frustrating COVID-19 delay only fueled John's determination to continue his journey and spread the word about Parkinson's disease.

    • Parkinson's disease awarenessEncountering challenges and negative attitudes, the speaker remained frustrated and angry but also met curious and willing individuals, realizing the importance of communication and education in raising awareness and reducing stigma for Parkinson's disease.

      Despite facing challenges and vulnerabilities during his journey across Africa with Parkinson's disease, the speaker never felt scared but remained frustrated and angry at times. He encountered people with negative attitudes towards Parkinson's patients, but also met many curious and willing individuals who wanted to learn and help. The speaker's mission to demystify Parkinson's disease was met with great interest and enthusiasm, even in areas with limited resources and language barriers. Through his experiences, he realized that there is a large group of people who want to make a difference and that communication and education are key to raising awareness and reducing stigma. The speaker's message was one of hope, resilience, and the power of connection and understanding.

    • Parkinson's care vs treatmentDespite the search for a cure, human connection and care for Parkinson's patients is essential. In some areas, patients face stigma, abandonment, and lack of access to essential medications, while in others, they encounter misunderstanding and fear. Regardless of circumstances, all deserve love, care, and access to resources for a dignified life.

      While the search for a cure for Parkinson's disease is important, the human connection and care for those affected by the condition should not be overlooked. The discussion highlighted the stark contrast between the treatment and perception of Parkinson's in different parts of the world. In some areas, those diagnosed are stigmatized and abandoned, leading to isolation and premature death. The lack of access to basic medications and the exorbitant prices for essential drugs further exacerbate the situation. Meanwhile, those in more privileged circumstances may face misunderstanding and fear, which can add to their stress and worsen their condition. Ultimately, it's crucial to remember that behind every diagnosis is a person who deserves love, care, and access to the resources they need to live a dignified life.

    • Resilience in Parkinson's patientsDespite challenges, Parkinson's patients can make a difference through determination, resilience, and understanding the importance of respect, love, and care. Asking for help and receiving it is not a sign of weakness but a necessary step towards living a fulfilling life.

      Despite the challenges of living with Parkinson's disease, particularly in areas with limited access to medication, the determination and resilience of individuals can make a significant difference in their lives. Guy Deakin, a Parkinson's patient, shared his experiences of traveling to Africa and witnessing the struggles of those living with the disease in regions with limited resources. He emphasized that while medication is important, understanding and treating people with respect, love, and care is equally crucial. During his trip, Guy also discovered the kindness and helpfulness of people, regardless of their circumstances. He learned that asking for help and receiving it is not a sign of weakness but a necessary step towards living a fulfilling life. Guy's experiences have inspired him to continue raising awareness about Parkinson's disease and to help those in need. He is planning a more organized and deliberate journey back to Africa, depending on the success of a film about his last trip. Guy's message is a reminder that most people are inherently good and kind, and that recognizing and accepting help from others can lead to unexpected discoveries and personal growth. His book, "Running On Empty," is a highly recommended read at an affordable price.

    • Collaboration in producing a Parkinson's podcastA successful podcast about living with Parkinson's is made possible by the collective effort and support from sponsors, producers, musicians, artists, and listeners

      Key takeaway from this episode of Movers and Shakers, a podcast about living with Parkinson's, is the collective effort and support from various individuals and organizations that make the production possible. The show is sponsored by Judge Nick Mostin's old chambers and private donors, and is produced by Nick Hilton for PODO. The theme music is composed by Alex Stubbs, and the cover artwork is created by Tillukat. Listeners are encouraged to subscribe, rate, and review the show to receive new episodes directly in their podcast app. The podcast also has a new website with additional information about each episode, which can be found at www.mooversandshakerspodcast.com. For any thoughts or questions, listeners can email feedback@moversandshakerspodcast.com. Overall, the podcast showcases the power of community and collaboration in sharing stories and providing resources for those living with Parkinson's.

    Recent Episodes from Movers and Shakers: a podcast about life with Parkinson's

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    Artwork by Till Lukat.

    PR by Sally Jones.


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    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


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    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


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    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


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    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


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    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


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    PR by Sally Jones.


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    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


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    Additional production by Ewan Cameron.

    Music by Alex Stobbs.

    Artwork by Till Lukat.

    PR by Sally Jones.


    For more additional information about the show, as well as extra resources and exclusive content, please visit MOVERSANDSHAKERSPODCAST.COM


    Movers and Shakers is generously sponsored by the Judge's old chambers, and by the contributions of private donors.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.