Brothers to walk length of Northern Line in aid of father’s Parkinson’s fight
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Brothers to walk length of Northern Line in aid of father’s Parkinson’s fight

Ex-JFS students Ben and Naji Tilley raise hundreds ahead of their journey from Edgware to Morden via Charing Cross, inspired by their father's condition diagnosed in 2012

Ben and Naj Tilley
Ben and Naj Tilley

Twin brothers are walking the length of the Northern Line to raise money for Parkinson’s UK, after their father was diagnosed with the condition.

Ex-JFS students Bension and Naji Tilley have raised more than £750 ahead of their journey from Edgware to Morden via Charing Cross, in late July.

The brothers, 25, are looking to complete the challenge in under eight hours, to help find a cure and better treatments for the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the UK.

Ben studied medicine at Imperial and intercalated his PhD there in Parkinson’s disease research, inspired by his father’s diagnosis in 2012. During his research he worked closely with Parkinson’s UK Tissue Bank at the university and developed a statistical model for predicting which patients with Parkinson’s were likely to develop Dementia.

Speaking to Jewish News, Bension said: “At the time our dad was diagnosed, we knew virtually nothing about the condition. It’s imperative to raise awareness, even if you don’t know anyone who suffers with it.”

“Amongst the earliest symptoms we noticed was that our dad lost his sense of smell. A lot of people who experience these types of non-specific symptoms never see the doctor to have them investigated which means a window of opportunity is missed for early treatment and cure.”

Reflecting on the impact of the condition, he said: “There’s a delicate balance to be struck between helping our dad with certain tasks and maintaining his autonomy and independence – so that he doesn’t feel so defeated by it.”

He added that although Parkinson’s is a slowly progressing condition, “it’s important to bear in mind that it isn’t all-debilitating. Our dad still does a lot of exercise and a lot of housework”.

During the challenge, they’ll be carrying collection buckets and stopping at every station to raise money, and will also visit the Parkinson’s UK Head Office.

The brothers will attempt their feat on 28 July and have already raised £755 of their £1,000 target.

 

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