Top honour for tireless leader
HEAD of the Ballarat Parkinson’s Peer Support Group, Elaine Maberly, has received the first Harold Waldron Carer’s Award from Parkinson’s Victoria.
The award was created by the organisation as a way of recognising the valuable contributions made family and friends in the wider Parkinson’s community.
Nine years ago Ms Meberly husband of 50 years, Jonathan, passed away, however she’s continued on as the leader of the city’s Parkinson’s Peer Support Group.
“I’m still involved because they won’t let me go really,” she said. “I say someone else should take over, but say they like me where I am.”
Ms Meberly’s partner was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1996 and then joined the support group after their daughters saw it advertised.
“He enjoyed being in the group, maybe he relaxed more, because you don’t have to pretend to do or be better than you are because everyone else is in the same boat,” she said.
About a year-and-a-half later Ms Maberly also joined the group and has gone on to be its leader as well as present exercise classes related to the illness.
“Everything I’ve done was a reaction to a need that I knew I could do something about, so I just got on and did it. But my training as a physiotherapist has been absolutely instrumental,” she said.