Six years ago, Sue Wylie was diagnosed with Parkinson's. With very little known about the condition, she felt compelled to write a play to give people living with Parkinson's a voice.
The play, Kinetics, is based on Sue's experience and follows the relationship between a middle-aged woman and a bright, but bored, student who is struggling with ADHD and finds release in Parkour, otherwise known as free running. Two people at polar opposites but both grappling with the desire to move.
She said, 'I felt there was a stigma attached to my condition and realised the only way to do something about it was to speak out about it. We used audience feedback from Parkinson’s groups to help shape and develop the play so they felt their voices were being heard. I also worked in close collaboration with Prof Ralph Gregory who offered medical expertise and organised for consultant neurologists to come to each of our shows.'
Kinetics is described as 'honest, humorous and gives real insight into what it is like living with a chronic condition.' It toured to great critical acclaim in autumn 2016 and a re-occurring comment was that it needed to be seen by a wider audience and had huge potential as a teaching resource for a wide range of health professionals as well as the general public.
In order to achieve this, Sue would like to turn her play into a film. Registered charity DT2 Productions - formed to advance education about Parkinson's - will be making the film but help is needed through a Kickstarter campaign to get the funds together to make it.
Now halfway through the campaign, Kinetics still needs a push to reach its target of £30,000. If you would like to donate, head to the Kickstart campaign here.
The film will be used as a teaching resource for people with the condition, medical professionals, carers and the general public. It hopes to inform people about Parkinson's in an engaging and entertaining format as well as raise questions about patient empowerment, breaking bad news and providing much-needed insight into living with a chronic condition. It will also stimulate discussion about the teenage brain, risk-taking and mental health issues.
Sue has been approached by several universities and hospitals and is currently in the process of discussing whether sections of the film could be incorporated into Parkinson’s UK education resources.
Watch the trailer for what Sue hopes to achieve with this film:
The Kickstarter campaign closes on 30 June. Donate here.