As one of the Australian fashion industry’s busiest personalities, Phoebe Garland has had a lot of roles in her career, but none more important that her recent appointment as ambassador for Shake It Up, an organisation dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a cause close to Garland’s heart, with partner Robert recently diagnosed with the illness.
We caught up with Garland to find out more about her role and why we need to throw our support behind this important cause.
1. What does it mean to you to be an ambassador for a great charity such as Shake It Up?
It is a real honour to be an Ambassador for Shake, it is something that has personally affected my family and it has had a profound affect on us as a family, particularly with the uncertainty of the disease in the years to come.
2. What do you hope to achieve in your role?
I would really like to take the stigma out of the disease. So many suffers are embarrassed by their symptoms and feel self conscious and I do find this quite heartbreaking. A lot of men in particular see it as an an old man’s disease and it certainly isn’t. Clyde Campbell the founder of Shake it Up was diagnosed when he was only 44 and Michael J Fox was also very young when found out he had it. I would also like to raise awareness of the wonderful job Shake it Up are doing with 100% of all proceeds going into research in Australia and they have also teamed up with the Michael J Fox Foundation to extend and broaden the resources to find a cure. There is no cure to this disease at present and I am very keen to see a cure or at least better medications which are more effective at treating the symptoms.
3. What are the ways we help spread the word about Parkinson’s disease and help find a cure? I urge people to get involved or donate. If you can’t donate money, there are many ways to get involved by fundraising with corporate activities or even with morning teas to raise funds. Every little bit helps and every cent is going into research in Australia. Visit shakeitup.org.au to find out how to get involved.
4. Your partner Robert has been diagnosed with the insidious disease. What advice to you have for those who have loved ones who are fighting the disease? The biggest mistake I see with people with Parkinson’s Disease is many just give in to it. It is a disease you have to fight with exercise, attending a PD Warrior program (A rehab program run by Physiotherapists which has proven to fight symptoms and keep it at bay), vitamin supplements and keep yourself mentally active as well. To do nothing is the worst as it allows the symptoms to develop further. There is is this misassumption there is nothing you can do because there is no cure but I urge people to fight the disease to stop developments. It really does make a difference.
Click here to find out more about this important cause and to donate to help find a cure for this insidious disease.