‘Ray of Hope’ wins the Popular Choice Award at the World Parkinson’s Congress 2023
19th July 2023
Christine Jeyachandran’s video ‘Ray of Hope’ won the people’s choice video competition at the World Parkinson’s Congress in early July.
The video was featured in the World Parkinson’s Congress opening ceremony in front of thousands people at the in Barcelona, Spain. The video tells the story of Ray and Ana Maria, an Irish Peruvian couple living in Peru who are dealing with a Parkinson’s diagnosis, the stigma associated with the disease.
Christine, who has had Young Onset Parkinson’s from the age of 37, directed and edited Ray of Hope. “Ray and Ana Maria found my video Handstand for Parkinson’s which was a finalist in the WPC video competition in 2019, in Japan. We decided to meet as we both were living in Peru and became friends.
Christine decided to make a documentary to raise awareness about Parkinson and interviews 5 people including Ray. She has been unable to complete this project but was struck by Ray’s eloquence and decided to make ‘Ray of Hope’ as a short film for the Congress video competition for 2023.
Ray and Ana Maria are involved in a support group in Lima for people affected by Parkinson’s (patients and carers). Many with Parkinson’s face physical challenges as well as depression and isolation which compounds their decline. Many lack access to information and resources.
Christine wanted to get Ray and Ana María to attend the Congress to get further resourced to help the people in Peru with Parkinson. She put the video in the name of Ray, that if by chance it won, the prize would help Ray get to the conference. Christine was already booked in to attend and speak, but Ray received a travel grant and support from the WPC to help them get there. They are so grateful.
The video has views and votes from Peru, Australia, Ireland, from Latin America and throughout the world. Christine and the protagonists want to thank everyone who voted and helped them win the people’s choice award.
Christine says “Ray was overjoyed with the win. He travelled to Spain to receive the award and his sibling came from Ireland to see him there”.
Although Christine video didn’t win in 2019, she was so inspired by the Congress she started a support group on her community in the south of Peru, where she was living at the time and cofounded Spanish-speaking Alliance of stakeholders advocating for better care and research was chosen as an ambassador for the WPC. She sees that the congress has enthused Ana Maria and Ray.
Ray: I told my story because I wanted to break free! I felt oppressed by Parkinson’s. By opening up to the world and sharing my story I believe I helped myself and others see the hope beyond the disease.
Christine: “The comments and feedback has been encouraging and it is our hope Ray of Hope will challenge the stigma associated with Parkinson’s. Some say in the west but if there is no stigma, then why do so many people hide their diagnosis”.
Please share this video to help people understand Parkinson’s but also note that everyone experiences Parkinson’s differently,
Handstand for Parkinson’s: https://youtu.be/h1B6kUgN6WQ