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It's the disease that is not supposed to hit until you're old and grey but it struck one of America's biggest stars Michael J Fox at the height of his career at just 29 but Hollywood's favourite son is hell bent on finding a cure and now Parkinsons Disease is hitting our young.

It can strike anyone anywhere, rich or poor, the old, and surprisingly the young, Parkinsons Disease is indiscriminate, 30 people are newly diagnosed with it every day and of those three are under the age of 50.

Sacha Whitehead is just 33 and a young mother of 4 gorgeous children. Her son 15 year old Jack finds it so hard to believe his mum has Parkinsons Disease.

"It is just hard to see mum like that when she is at her worst", said Jack.

The tremors started just after the birth of her fourth child Halle. .Sacha was only 30 so Parkinsons Disease was the last thing she expected to hear.

When I was told I had Parkinsons Disease I cried almost all the way home from Sydney", said Sacha.

Parkinsons Disease is a degenerative brain condition that causes neurons to stop producing dopamine, a chemical that helps smooth co-ordination of the body's muscles and movement. ..Without it the shakes start and what causes it is still a mystery.

Sacha is lucky she has a supportive partner Rhyl .but he still battles the reality.

"I was very sad I don't show a lot of emotion in front of Sacha, I cried a lot", said Rhyl.

Sacha works full time and on medication, you can barely notice she has the condition but if she holds off taking her lunchtime tablets she starts shaking.

"I do feel trapped in my body, and I am powerless to these symptoms, I can't control them, I can't change them" said Sacha.

It has also affected her memory and caused anxiety and depression which is common to all sufferers.

"I can't do some of the things I used to do, grocery shopping, I avoid that because it causes a lot of confusion and a lot of tremor", said Sacha.

Kate Stone Crouch was an athletic,.hardworking 29 year old when she woke up like this one morning with the shakes..

While a face spasm is called dystonia, for Kate it is part of her Parkinsons disease and it took 7 years before she was properly diagnosed.

"It affected me in every single area of my life, it affected my friendships, it affected my relationship, it affected my professional life. It was just an absolute disaster for me", said Kate.

Her husband James helps her through it Apart from the shakes Parkinsons affects Kate's ability to stay mobile.

Now properly medicated Kate is able to work from homebut it's the little things that cause her the most grief. Kate dreams of a cure in the next 5 to 10 years.

Parkinsons is probably the most treatable disease in the near future and it is not unforeseeable to think we'll see it in the next 10 to 20 years

Stem Cells Australia is developing a technique to reprogram stem cells into brain cells that produce dopamine which is the missing chemical in Parkinson's sufferers.

Neuroscientist Dr Clare Parish said, "We can put the cells through a number of different paces to make sure the cells are functioning like the cells normally do in the brain".

Engineer Clyde Campbell runs a successful machinery robotics business and he is also father to 3 children. At 43 he was diagnosed with Parkinsons.

Clyde said, "I made a promise to myself when I walked out of the neurologist, before I turned the car on what was I going to decide to do about it, was I going to be Clyde with Parkinsons, or was I going to be Clyde that does something about Parkinsons".

Clyde's now Chief Executive of the Shake It Up Foundation which is a charity raising funds for research into a cure and he has partnered up with another more famous sufferer - Michael J Fox and his Fox Foundation.

"He could see behind us what we wanted to be able to do. It was how to be able to make a difference in other people's lives", said Clyde.

Those with Parkinsons have one common wish for people to understand the disease and donate so their dream of a cure becomes a reality sooner and before it is too late.

"We need to talk about it and we need to let people know there is a lot of us out there. Please can people understand you don't have to be someone in their 70s or 80s with Parkinsons you can be my age", said Clyde.

If you want to find out more about Shake It Up and their fundraising for a cure please go to

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