Anne Atkin is an artist, retired primary teacher and librarian and mother of two. Diagnosed at 55, Anne is also one of thousands of Australians who live with the challenge of Parkinson’s every day.
Ms Atkin said she was “gob smacked” when she heard about her diagnosis. “I was standing with the neurologist in his office and I just froze,” she said. “And it wasn’t until I got into my car and started driving home that it hit me and I began crying uncontrollably.”With every passing year, Ms Atkin said, she found herself doing less and less.“Sometimes, my husband has to do my bra up. Some days, I can’t even put my socks on,” she said. “But I decided I couldn’t live my life being miserable so I started looking on the bright side.” Ms Atkin started up ‘Painting with Parkinson’s’ in Victoria, which is art therapy for other people living with Parkinson’s.
She runs the classes at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick during the school terms. “Art is beneficial for everyone. Parkinson’s affects the brain and art and painting is good for the brain,” she said. “After four sessions, people realise they are more relaxed and they can find their own level of creativity.”
For details about the ‘Painting with Parkinson’s’ classes call Anne Atkin on 0409 188 317 or submit an enquiry form by clicking here now
On May 8th, 2009, the City of Casey Volunteer Awards were held at the Balla Balla Centre.
Anne received the award for Services to People with a disability through the arts.
- 2012 The Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Outstanding Service to those with Parkinson’s.
- 2012 The Lindsay King Arts Initiative Award. This is the top arts award for the City of Casey.
- 2013 The City of Casey Citizen of the Year.
Parkinson’s is officially a progressive, degenerative neurological disease.
It is frustrating, hard work and cruel.
It can rob you of your ability to communicate.
It can rob you of your ability to smile.
And, if you let it, it can rob you of having a life.