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“The brilliance of “Does it hurt, Granny?” …

Dear Dawn

I gave my son your book to read to his children – now six and eight, to see how they reacted, as up to now, they had not asked many questions, although they do know that their granny has Parkinson’s.  Here are his comments….

“The brilliance of “Does it Hurt Granny?” is that the starting point is that Granny is still Granny. Granny can do everything she has always done…but occasionally needs a bit more help. It doesn’t hide from the realities of what it is involved, but it does it in a thoughtful, gentle and realistic way, acknowledge both the positives with the inevitabilities. I found it incredibly easy and soothing to read with my kids – helping express the words about my mother that I find so hard to say myself and helping my kids to understand that Granny is still Granny – the same Granny that they know and love with all their heart, but every now and then, we just need to give her a bit more love and support. Thank you for writing it – it has been an enormous help to me and my family”.

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A very satisfied customer

I received this wonderful testimonial last week, from Su , a Person with Parkinson’s, on receiving the book.

She says:

I found your books absolutely delightful, with such a light touch.  The illustrations are wonderful and tell the story so well.  I very much like the way you have gradually approached some of the more obvious effects of Parkinson’s over the five books. The messages are delivered clearly but gently and important points (eg “it doesn’t hurt”, “today is just a bad day”, “you cheer me up”, “let’s talk about it” etc.) are very effectively emphasised with simple repetition.

To be able to share  activities with one’s grandchildren is a joy and I love the excitement and happiness that emanates from the pages when you are together with your grandson.  Whether you are having an energetic and good day or a gentler time on a bad one, this happiness is tangible and the drawings demonstrate very clearly the love between you.

Difficult days are not shied away from and, consequently, are accepted when they do occur.  As grandson and grandmother are regularly doing things together, grandson feels included and useful, even when Granny is having a bad day and can’t do very much.

Your book covers so much in a relaxed way, leading to increased understanding at the child’s pace – a useful resource for both parents and their children and grandchildren.   To my mind, your positive, cheerful approach to open discussion is absolutely the right way forward.

The last 2 pages are wonderfully positive and warm.  Both Granny and Grandson look relaxed and happy and their hug says it all – “yes, we will talk about it” and “no, we won’t let it get in our way”.

Very happy New Year and best wishes Su”

This is exactly what I had hoped to do, Su. Thank you for summarising the stories so beautifully.

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For Harry, his baby sister and his dad

Luca met you this morning and is very sorry he is going back toTanzania next week. He hopes you will be his friend and visit when he comes back to Bristol to stay with Nanny Dawn.

Or if you want to visit him in Tanzania, he will arrange that for you.IMG_1897

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Volunteer Educator training :-)

Thank you Wendy and co. for today’s introduction to volunteer education. Lively and engaging and definitely something I should like to be doing. Who are we, these “People with Parkinson’s?” What do we look like? What symptoms do we have? What do we need in order to live life to the full? How can we share this with those around us, partners, friends, carers, professionals? Awareness isn’t just for that one week each year in April. Trying to raise awareness on TV – how can we help ourselves? And help others to talk about P.D.?

https://www.madeinbristol.tv/catchup/?c=lifestyle&p=x4ug71&v=x5s09q4

Scroll to 47 minutes – and there it is. Thanks for watching.

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Have you read the 5 stories?

Thank you for your “views”. Lots of people come on to this page. Please think about buying the book. 5 stories in 1 volume. £1 will go to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust for each copy sold. And children do love the pictures and the bright and humorous illustrations.
My grandson is still in Tanzania so I haven’t been able to share the stories with him yet. He will be home for the summer. I am sure he will notice that I move more slowly than last year. Then we CAN “talk about it”. Just like in the story.

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Dancing, Nordic Walking, Boxing, Personal Training … and very few drugs :-)

So we danced today at a Ceilidh. Not as fast as those without Parkinson’s, but we were looking good. And Nordic Walking classes are twice a week, technique included, improving stamina, strength, balance, stride length and morale. It’s lovely to walk together. And boxing is great fun but exhausting. A laugh a minute and we are getting better. Sky News came to film us on Friday 12th. Personal Training focuses on what a Person with Parkinson’s needs. What I need is another brain scan. Why am I doing so well 5 years after diagnosis? Is it the exercise? I believe so. Have new neural pathways been made? Yes, I think so. Have cells been renewed? Only a brain scan could show that they have.

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Parkinson’s Awareness Week is nearly upon us.

From the 10th to the 16th April, we shall be out and about, all across the UK, trying to raise awareness of this condition, which doesn’t just affect the elderly. And if you know anyone who is struggling to talk about it, especially to young children, please send them my way. Try a story. It’s not threatening. It gives you thinking time. It can be gentle. It is richly textured. I haven’t given up. Too much to do and to share. See Facebook dawnmaybooks. Videos of boxing and books. And even babies need books.IMG_0715

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