A CONGRESBURY woman with Parkinson's Disease is set to take part in this year's AJ Bell Great Bristol Run.

Amanda Palmer, who was diagnosed with the disease in December 2021 at aged 47, will tackle the half marathon on May 19 to raise funds and awareness of Cure Parkinson's.

She will be joined by her daughter Molly and son Joe.

For Amanda, running is essential for her "mental and physical fitness" and is "more important than ever."

She said: “The power of running is physical fitness. Running has always been my go-to for mental and physical fitness and now it’s more important than ever.

“Intense exercise has been proven to slow the progression of Parkinson’s and running makes me feel more fluid. 

“These days I have to think about my movements with every stride I take and, after a couple of miles, it’s almost like I felt before I developed Parkinson’s.

"I never regret going for a run, it makes you feel alive and ready to face anything.”

After being diagnosed, Amanda was informed that she'd been successful in applying for a place at the London Marathon, which she took as a sign to carry on doing what she loved.

Amanda added: “I’d applied for my marathon place before I was diagnosed and then I questioned whether I could still do it. But I took it as a sign that I shouldn’t be held back.

"My diagnosis was a wake-up call on how limited your time is to do things like this and taking part in running events is a great way to raise awareness and highlight what I’m experiencing as someone with Parkinson’s.”

Issuing advice to others who have experienced a medical setback, Amanda concluded: “After a diagnosis like mine, you have to allow yourself to grieve as your life will fundamentally change.

"But you have to get hold of it and fight it. I know I can still live a life I want if I do the right thing. I exercise every day and I know I’m going to feel better afterwards. I may not always have the speed or grace I want, but I can still achieve.

"There’s no right or wrong, as long as you find exercise you can stick to it can make a big difference.”