Who am I? ¿Quien soy yo?


Public Speaker and Advocate and World Parkinson Congress Ambassador WPC2022/3
Masters, Public Health, University of New South Wales (2020- 2022).
Masters, International and Community Development Deakin University (2004)
Graduate Diploma in Divinity (2008), Australian College of Theology/ Morling College (2008
Economics (Social Science) Degree, Honours in Government, University of Sydney (2000)

Christine is a passionate health advocate, driven to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s through prevention. Christine’s personal story has impressed doctors and physiotherapists around the world as she used exercise to regain her movement for early onset Parkinson’s disease. Her story was shortlisted in World Parkinson’s Congress video competition (Handstand for Parkinson’s). Christine was living in Peru (10 years) and noted to lack os services and even knowledge about the benefits of exercise so she started to education her community and started a local association and launched an International Alliance of Parkinson’s for Spanish Speaking countries to see how they could work together and look for resources. She is the co-principal investigator for an project concerning Parkinson’s epidemiology in Latin America. She use my lived experience to educate and is now breaking stigma and telling other people’s Parkinson’s stories. Christine is almost fluent in Spanish.

From Christine:

I wrote this when I started the blog in 2018, much has changed so read on in the blog.

I’m Christine. I’m Australian but I live in Peru with my family. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease four years ago when I was 37 – it was a bit of a shock! My left hand shakes so people think I’m nervous. Parkinson’s has damaged my ability to walk and my foot drags. My left arm/ hand also doesn’t move as it should and it trembles. I need to do exercise regularly, which is time consuming, to keep my body from degrenating.

Sometimes I feel sad. This disease has got me too young – I’m only 41. I feel a sense of loss of what I can’t do. I hope I can be there for my children when I’m older and be full of energy and strength.

Sometimes I’m tempted to question why I have Parkinson’s but in the end it doesn’t really matter why but I do know that God has a purpose for me in this. I know that I can be an encouragement to others. I have shared my story with many and serve God despite the hardships of life.

On that note, I am a bible believing Christian. Obviously I understand not everyone has the same beliefs as me but I cannot express myself most honestly without occasional reference to this. So I hope you keep reading nonetheless knowing that no offence is intended if you disagree. It is just “my story”.

PS- I write in Spanish too, whenever I can, because I live in Peru and I feel there are few resources here in Spanish about Parkinson’s disease. I hope to advance people’s understanding of the disease where I live.  

¿Quien soy yo?

Hola, soy Christine. Soy australiana pero vivo en Perú con mi familia. Hace cuatro años me diagnosticaron la enfermedad de Parkinson cuando tenía 37 años. ¡Fue un shock!. Actualmente mi mano izquierda tiembla y la gente piensa que estoy nerviosa. El Parkinson ha dañado mi capacidad para caminar y arrastro un pie. Mi brazo y mano izquierda tampoco se mueven como debería.  Necesito hacer ejercicio frecuentemente, lo cual lleva mucho tiempo, para evitar que mi cuerpo se deteriore más.

A veces me siento triste. Esta enfermedad me dio demasiado joven, sólo tengo 41 años. Siento la pérdida de lo que no puedo hacer. Espero que pueda estar allí para mis hijos cuando sea mayor y estar llena de energía y fuerza.

A veces me siento tentada a preguntar por qué tengo Parkinson, pero al final no importa el por qué, pero sí sé que Dios tiene un propósito para mí en esto. Sé que puedo animar a otros. He compartido mi historia con muchos y sirvo a Dios a pesar de las dificultades de la vida.

En ese sentido, soy un cristiano que cree en la Biblia. Obviamente, entiendo que no todos tienen las mismas creencias que yo, pero no puedo expresarme con la mayor honestidad sin mencionar mi fe. Así que espero que aun asi sigas leyendo, sabiendo que no se pretende ofender si no estás de acuerdo. Es solo “mi historia”.

Nota:  Escribo en español, siempre que puedo, porque vivo en Perú y creo que hay pocos recursos aquí en español sobre la enfermedad de Parkinson. Espero que la gente entienda mejor la enfermedad.