A former principal of Lurgybrack NS in Letterkenny has been elected as vice chair of the National Board of Parkinson’s Ireland.
Ms Ann Foxe, who retired from teaching in 2016, is also secretary of the North West branch of Parkinson’s Ireland which covers Donegal and Sligo.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week, Ms Foxe explained that there are more than 12,000 people with Parkinson’s in Ireland, 62 of whom are currently registered with the North West branch.
“It’s been a difficult year with fund-raising due to Covid and local branches are doing great work by facilitating physiotherapy, yoga and speech therapy classes on Zoom,” she said.
“During my 12-month term I hope to raise public awareness of the work of Parkinson’s Ireland. We don’t get any Government funding. All monies come through fund-raising and donations,” she added.
Twenty years have passed since Ann Foxe first took an active interest in Parkinson’s disease which is a progressive neurological disorder.
“A friend in Donegal had just been diagnosed at an early age. I didn’t know much about Parkinson’s and started looking into it when I realised that there was no support group in the North West so I set about forming one.
“The North West branch covers Donegal and Sligo and I’m secretary of the local branch. Over the next year or so I hope to increase membership and raise awareness of Parkinson’s and to consult with branches and see how we can support and help them.
“It’s also important to say that all donations and money raised locally, stays locally and is spent in the local area,” Ms Foxe said.
The Board of Directors are all volunteers and give their time and expertise freely. The Board are elected each year at our AGM by rotation, and from time-to-time Board members are co-opted.
The Parkinson’s Association of Ireland is made up of eighteen Branches throughout Ireland. Each Branch is operated by volunteers and these Branches form part of the national organisation.