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Drummer's helping beat his disease

PUBLISHED: 12:32 12 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 05 July 2010

A FORMER professional drummer who feared he would never play again will pick up his sticks again later this month as he takes part in a fundraising event for a charity close to his heart.

A FORMER professional drummer who feared he would never play again will pick up his sticks again later this month as he takes part in a fundraising event for a charity close to his heart.

Gary Woods, of London Road South, Lowestoft, suffers from Parkinson's Disease. His only ever profession since he left school was as a drummer but when the disease hit its worst 12 months ago he thought his passion in life would be taken away from him forever.

Thankfully, since then a “cocktail” of medication has been found that is helping to ease his symptoms and has allowed him to once more pick up the sticks.

To mark his improvement the 57-year-old and his fellow band members from 1960s act Soul Reaction decided to organise a unique musical event to help raise money for Parkinson's Disease Society.

The event will see 22 musicians perform at the Corton Hut, on Sunday, September 21, as jazz, blues, rock, folk and soul are all brought together in a spectacular evening of music.

Mr Woods said: “The motivation behind this event is two-fold. First of all, a year ago I didn't think that I would ever play again. I was in pretty bad shape and to lose the ability to do the thing that you love more than anything else is hard to take.

“We found a 'cocktail' that is, touch wood, working for me at the moment and so although it is a progressive disease I want others to know that it doesn't necessarily mean a continuous downward spiral, there can be 'up' times as well. Don't give up.

“Secondly, East Anglia is woefully short of specialist nurses like Jo Fuller, who I can't thank enough for being there when I really needed help. But she has to cover a massive area and sufferers of other neurological problems, so money is urgently needed to rectify this.”

The event, which runs from 4pm to 9pm, will also include a raffle and auction.

Tickets are £6 and are available from Morlings, London Road South, Lowestoft, on 01502 565491, and Violet's Florist, Famona Road, Carlton Colville, 01502 534777.

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