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Monday, 15 September 2003
Page: 19999


Ms GAMBARO (1:51 PM) —I wish to commend the Parkinson's disease Queensland support group for a brilliant innovation in their continuing campaign to raise public awareness about Parkinson's disease—that is, the Parkinson's Daily Olympics board game, which is a colourful, novel and imaginative way of increasing understanding and of diagnosing and coping with the disease. Based on the classic easy-to-follow format of snakes and ladders, and designed for children, the game takes players through a series of steps designed to educate and explain the major symptoms and everyday challenges faced by sufferers of Parkinson's disease, from completing simple tasks, such as dressing and walking, to dealing with other people.

The game explains in simple, light-hearted terms that Parkinson's is not a fatal or contagious disease but that it is a disease without a cure and one which traps its sufferers in a world that the rest of us find really hard to understand. This lack of recognition means that too often symptoms like tremor, shaking, rigidity or muscle stiffness and immobility are misinterpreted. How many non-sufferers know the most common symptoms of Parkinson's—akinesia, a freezing of the muscles, and bradykinesia, a slowness of movement—experienced by sufferers? How often is postural instability, stooping, shuffling or the dragging of feet misinterpreted? I recommend this game, which comes with a fold-up poster, chips and dice, and I want to praise again the wonderful work being done by Parkinson's Queensland. They are a non-profit group and they are distributing the game free of charge to schools and medical practices. I want to particularly congratulate them on their wonderful stand at the recent AMA Health Expo held at the Brisbane Convention Centre, and I wish them well in their work.