A HAIRDRESSER and school breakfast club supervisor in Swindon has struggled to adapt after being diagnosed with a very rare condition.

Suzanne Hancock learned she had Parkinson's in March 2020 then found out a year later that she also suffered from a lifespan-shortening brain disorder called corticobasal syndrome which only 12 people in Swindon have.

The combination of these long-term illnesses has left her mostly housebound, which she is finding difficult after quitting three jobs. She was a breakfast club and lunchtime supervisor at Moredon School, and a hairdresser.

The  55-year-old said: "Parkinson's has affected the right side of my body - my arm went dead for six months and I had to give up work. I can't get out at all now because of my mobility issues.

"I wasn't too bad until last April, then I fell and broke my foot, and I fell out of the bath. That's when I learned I had corticobasal syndrome and my life expectancy is now seven years.

"It's hard going from jobs which were very sociable and got me out of the house to now having to rely on other people. I have not coped well because I used to be so active, it's awful.

"Simple things like getting out of bed or into a car are suddenly very difficult, it's ridiculous.

"My mind is switched on but my body won't let me do anything, which is frustrating."

She decided to turn her birthday party into a fundraiser for Parkinson's UK and the PSPA charity, which supports people with her degenerative brain disorder, which raised £1,000.

Her loved ones have helped provide a strong support network during this time of need

Suzanne added: "I'm very lucky to have such a supportive family, with a very patient and supportive partner, Chris, who works full-time then helps me when he gets home.

"My son Steve ran a half-marathon to support Parkinson's research, I have lovely children, and I want to thank everyone who donated.

Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a rare condition which can cause gradually worsening problems with movement, speech, memory and swallowing.

It's often also called corticobasal syndrome and is caused by increasing numbers of brain cells becoming damaged or dying over time.

One limb is usually affected at first, before spreading to the rest of the body. The rate at which the symptoms progress varies widely from person to person.

Most cases develop in adults aged between 50 and 70.

Swindon Advertiser: Suzanne Hancock turned her birthday party into a fundraiserSuzanne Hancock turned her birthday party into a fundraiser

Swindon Advertiser: Suzanne Hancock with son ChrisSuzanne Hancock with son Chris