Terminal diagnosis spurs Jason to cycle for Parkinson’s awareness

Jason (centre) with brother Geoff and sister-in-law Barb at their Moonee Beach home.

 

SHAKERATTLEANDROLL2021 is the Instagram handle for Jason Williams since a rare form of Parkinsonism (MSA-P) took its grip on Jason’s body.

He shakes, he rattles and now he’s rolling down the highway, from Burleigh Heads to Sydney and back, cycling 1800 kilometres on a mission to spread awareness of the disease, and raise funds to cover the financial impact it’s having on his family.

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Living with the debilitating, degenerative disease has impacted Jason’s mental health as he faced the diagnosis that MSA-P will take his life in two to five years.

Jason has an incredibly supportive wife, Tina, and four daughters, a loving close-knit family and community.

Chatting with News Of The Area on Day Five of his mammoth cycle ride, Jason was resting up with his brother Geoff and sister-in-law, Barb and looking forward to dinner at their home in Moonee Beach with fifteen family members.

“I was in a bit of a dark place – this disease messes with your mind, so I thought I’d start doing something for myself.”

He got his bike out.

“One day I just said to my wife, I think I might ride to Sydney.

“Then I put it up on social media.”

Committed, he started getting offers of support.

The ride has the backing of generous major sponsors, most notably LIVIN’ a not-for-profit organisation breaking the stigma of mental health, Shake it Up Australia the foundation to find a cure for Parkinson’s, and Victory Ford Coolangatta/Tweed who supplied the support van.

“The ride became more important to me when I got the diagnosis that my MSA-P has a lifespan, it’s pretty confronting to hear that.”

Until a few years ago Jason had been fit and healthy, working as a fireman with Fire and Rescue NSW on the North Coast, latterly as Deputy Captain at 514 Banora Point.

Today he is an inspiration to others to take action in adversity, to which he said, “I’m learning along the way, I’m just being myself.”

For information about donations to Jason’s GoFundMe campaign visit https://gofund.me/2614c720.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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