How battler Roy Blower is facing up to life with Parkinson’s

Roy Blower, who was diagnosed with Parkinsons four years ago. Roy Blower, who was diagnosed with Parkinsons four years ago.

Derek James
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
5:19 PM

It is a still a word which is often whispered. A medical condition with no cure and, unlike many others, there is often no hiding the symptoms it can cause some sufferers.

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Today we know more about Parkinson’s and the difficulties those living with it face but there is far more work, research and awareness to be done.

As we approach Parkinson’s Awareness Week one man has spoken out and he hopes it will help others, patients and families, to face up to life with Parkinson’s.

His name is Roy Blower, a leading player in Norwich life for several decades, who has devoted much of his life to helping others.

More than four years ago his life changed forever when he was told he had Parkinson’s. Since then he has been a journey of discovery, finding out how to live with the condition and to make the most of every day.

It was during his year as Norwich Lord Mayor several years ago when Roy first started to feel very tired. “I didn’t think much of it the time. Of course it was a busy period in my life. I was so proud to represent my city,” said Norwich-born Roy.

And the course the people wanted to meet and greet Roy, a true man of the people, and one of the best known supporters of his beloved Norwich City Football Club.

Slowly but surely his condition got worse and then came the news – he had Parkinson’s.

“It was like getting the black spot in Treasure Island. Such a shock. I was worried about what the future would hold,” said Roy.

More than four and a half years on Roy is as positive than ever.

“I consider myself lucky. I am 71 in April and still play table tennis,” said the former city and county councillor, president of the Norwich City Independent Supporters’ Association. He is also involved with a whole host of other groups, charities and organisations in the city and county.

With the support of his wife Beryl, children James, Verity and Robert, he is leading a full life and loving every minute of being a grandfather.

Three years ago he stood down as a councillor but he continues to be a busy man in public life. “You have got to be positive. I go to yoga classes and the people at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have been fantastic.”

“Being more than 6ft 2in tall doesn’t help. Walking long distances can be difficult but you just get on with it and my family and friends has been brilliant,” said Roy.

“One more thing,” he added. “Did you hear the one about the chap.....”

Roy can still tell a really bad joke – and make you smile.

• Parkinson’s Awareness Week, the annual campaign organised by Parkinson’s UK, takes place from April 7 to 13 and aims to change the way the condition is viewed by both the public and health professionals.






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