Daily Archives: August 30, 2012
A Nottinghamshire man who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease aged 39 has qualified for a Karate black belt.
53-year-old David Goronwy has turned his life around by achieving a top Karate qualification, despite being struck with the debilitating disease. Goronwy was on a downward spiral of depression as Parkinson’s disease began to take hold. Coincidently, in the same year, he was also made redundant from his accounting job and went through a divorce.
Goronwy fought through all adversity, which led to him having to take anti-depressants, and managed to master the Japanese martial art. ”It was a tough time,” he said. “…but I can honestly say that Karate gave me something to live for.”
Since the diagnosis, Gornonwy managed to find work as a teaching assistant and at a car garage, but his condition prevented him from being able to keep up with the workload. To push him through the frustrating time in his life, his sister Carol encouraged him to take up an old hobby he did in his younger years – Karate.
Gornowy has noted that his past time has improved his condition. He explained “It’s helped not only in terms of concentration, but it has also helped to keep my bones supple.” He also added that the black belt won’t be the end of his Karate journey either. “I will carry on for as long as my body lets me. My message to other people who might suffer from Parkinson’s is never give up and don’t let this disease stop you from doing something you want to.”
His coach at the Wilford Karate School expressed delight over his achievement. In her 30-year career, she’s yet to see someone with the condition reach black belt status. “He has just never given up and shown unbelievable determination,” she said. Similar sentiments came from his 63-year-old sister, who said: “We’re so proud of him.”
One of the key messages Goronwy wanted people to note was that: “This disease can knock your confidence.” He offered an anecdote to explain: “I remember when a policeman once came up to me and told me to go home after he saw me walking through Beeston. He thought I was drunk, but I was just having trouble walking. My point is you have to overcome things like that and live your life and don’t care what others may think.”