A MAN has spoken about the pain of seeing his father’s physical deterioration from Parkinson’s but says he still battles every day with “grit and determination” to live a normal life.

Russell Wood, from Brighton, said on a bad day his dad struggles to walk from room to room and explained seeing his struggles is “painful to watch” knowing he cannot help.

Russell’s dad, John, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 15 years ago. The neurological condition has no cure and currently affects around 145,000 people in the UK.

The 40-year-old said: “Shortly after his diagnosis we went for a hike across the South Downs for seven miles. He was a strong man and at this time, you could barely notice his condition.

“Over the years though, I have seen his physical deterioration. He battles every day with grit and determination trying to live as normal a life as possible.

“The most evident difficulty my father has with Parkinson’s is simply walking. On a bad day, it can take a painfully long time for him to walk from room to room - it’s actually sometimes easier for him to kneel and drag himself along the wooden floor.

“It’s painful to watch and not be able to help.”

The Argus: Russell's walk will take five daysRussell's walk will take five days

Russell has decided he wants to honour his father and raise money for charity by walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall, which is near Newcastle and runs the entire width of the country.

The wall is an old Roman fortification which spans more than 70 miles and was meant to protect the Romans from invading troops after emperor Hadrian visited Britain in 122AD.

Russell was aiming to raise £500 by taking on the 84-mile walk but has already reached £600 pounds. He will begin on January 23 and will be camping en route. The challenge should take around five days.

“I want to do something mentally and physically hard as a nod of respect to my father,” he added, “walking in difficult conditions is a very apt display of recognition for what people with Parkinson’s deal with every day.

“I am looking forward to the challenge and to testing myself. I am not looking forward to the cold, the weight, the numerous days of discomfort! However, for me, any discomfort will come to an end. For those with Parkinson’s, it’s a constant slog.

“It won't just be another fundraiser for me but something deeply personal. The strength my father exhibits will be a source of motivation when it gets tough on the trail.”

For more information on Russell’s challenge, visit his JustGiving page.

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