Tony – Half Marathon Runner – diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and suffering a stroke

This is the first article in our series ‘Meet incredible people who participate in the Cork City Marathon’.

This article is about Tony, a man with incredible willpower and determination, despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and suffering a stroke 5 years ago, Tony will run the Cork City Half Marathon this year! Here is his story.

I am Tony Wilkinson, and this year I’ve decided to take part in the Cork City Half Marathon. Everyone has a reason for doing a Marathon, it’s on a bucket list somewhere, a cause with a personal connection and then there’s me. Mine is yes, very personal and as each year goes by the chances of doing a Marathon challenge diminishes.

In 2015 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and as the years go by my mobility, balance and non-motor functions deteriorated; the ability even now to walk in a straight line is a challenge added to which in December 2017 I had a Stroke. I see this as my last opportunity to do something that came naturally to me in bygone years.

To the now, I am Chairperson of Cork Parkinson’s Association, and to this end, I tend to lead by example. People with Parkinson’s (PWP’s) are constantly being told, exercise …exercise… exercise use it or lose it, etc, etc. Well, shout it out, we are listening, but at times the ability to exercise can be beyond us.

An OFF day; pain, stiffness in the joints, lack of balance and to be honest ‘no I’ve had enough’ are the issues that drain enthusiasm.

So here I am, 64 years of age running the Cork City Half Marathon. For those who think impossible, I totally agree with them, I look at it this way “I’M POSSIBLE”.

Here you can watch two short videos of Tony training for the Cork City Half Marathon.



This is who we are:

Cork Parkinson’s Association is a dynamic and forward-looking organisation representing people living with Parkinson’s in county Cork. We are raising funds to create an information and resource Centre in Cork – a place for PWPs, carers, friends and family to meet for coffee-mornings, exercise classes, set dancing, choir practice and general information.

Our ultimate ambition is to drive better care, treatments and quality of life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s by developing a network of local support groups and campaigning for community-based Parkinson’s nurses.

Living with Parkinson’s can be a very lonely place. We are Rebels with a cause and because we are here, no one has to face Parkinson’s alone.

For more information about CPA and the work we do visit Cork Parkinson’s Association
Any donation to Cork Parkinson’s Association is greatly appreciated. The funds raised by CPA will only be used for projects related to Parkinson’s throughout the county of Cork.
Money raised for CPA by our #PD Rebel Runners is going to be spent in three ways:
1. Setting up the first Parkinson’s Resource Centre in Ireland in Cork and hopefully one in West Cork
2. Re-purpose our minibus into a mobile Information unit so more people know where to get support
3. Fund Therapists and therapy programs currently unavailable or under-resourced
Because we are here no one has to face Parkinson’s alone.

Join us on the June bank holiday weekend for a unique run through the streets of Cork city.

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