Lara MP John Eren receives widespread support after publicly revealing Parkinson’s diagnosis


Support has poured in for Lara MP John Eren after he publicly revealed his battle with Parkinson’s disease.


After seven months of keeping the difficult secret, the 56-year-old revealed his diagnosis on Sunday.


In a post to his Facebook page, Mr Eren said he hoped that by sharing his personal journey, it would encourage others to get their health checked.


John Eren, the Geelong MP has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. John is pictured with wife Geraldine. Picture: Mark Stewart

“I’m sharing this with you all not for pity or for you to feel sorry for me, more so because I want to share with you who know me, a life-changing stage of my life,” he said.


“In the hope that you understand why I’m not in my normal self.


“Also in the hope that you all take care of yourselves young or old.”


The long-time Labor member for Lara was diagnosed with the neurological condition last December.


But in 2018, the father of five said he noticed his right arm stopped swinging when he walked, he would shuffle rather than take a proper step and had difficulty doing up his shoelaces and buttons.


He assumed the problems related to a bulging disc in his neck that he had experienced in 2017.


But one day in state parliament last year, colleague and Geelong MP Christine Couzens noticed his hand was shaking while holding a document.


Thinking it was the nerve damage from 2017, Mr Eren went for an appointment to see a neurologist alongside his wife Geraldine.


Mr Eren was left in shock after the neurologist told him he had Parkinson’s.


“At this point, my brain almost explodes. A million things go through my mind,” he said.


“I don’t know if I should nervously laugh or cry.”


The neurologist said there was no cure but medication could help manage the symptoms.


But Mr Eren said it was a “relief” finding out what was wrong with him.


“I’m so glad I had taken the steps to get checked and now on medication, which is helping with my symptoms,” he said.


There are 27,000 Victorians living with Parkinson’s and 80,000 across Australia.

For more information, visit parkinsonsvic.org.au.

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