A woman from Cleckheaton now has a celebrity on her side in her quest to educate the public about early-onset Parkinsons disease.
Carolyn Ibberson, 46, of Grange Road, has been left unable to work by her battle with the disease, and has now dedicated her time to raising money for charity through selling her homemade Parkypurses.
And last month she met bestselling author and TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh to raise awareness to her cause
She said: “People often associate Parkinsons disease with elderly people, but younger people like myself can get it too.
“At first, I knew something wasn’t right when I started to have tremors in my limbs, and I began to struggle. I had a few months off my job as a teaching assistant. I tried my best to go back to work, but I had so many difficulties.
“It was about January last year when I realised I could hardly even walk. I want to raise awareness of the disease to more people, so they get themselves checked out if they notice something wrong.
“I also wanted to raise funds for charity, so I began making and selling the Parkypurses.”
Carolyn has already raised more than £150 since January from sales of the fabric purses for charity Parkinsons UK.
She met Alan Titchmarsh at a book-signing in Cleckheaton Town Hall last month where he accepted one of the purses.
She said: “Sometimes, you feel like a celebrity might be different in real life from how you imagine them, but Alan was not like that at all.
“He very graciously accepted the purse and signed my book, calling me ‘the perfect woman’!
“My son said I was like a teenager at a JLS concert!”
To find out more about Carolyn’s Parkypurses, visit www.facebook.com/carolyn.parkypurses. For more information on Parkinsons disease, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk.