PETER Raymond knew something was wrong when his bowling and batting started to falter at cricket matches.
An avid sportsman all his life, he was dismayed when he began to lose power and co-ordination when running up to the bowling crease.
"I knew there was something wrong and I thought it might have been arthritis. My kids said, 'Dad, you're just getting old, face it'," he says.
They were both wrong: it was Parkinson's disease.
Mr Raymond was diagnosed about 11 years ago. He was just 51.
It dealt a blow to someone who had been a sports buff, enjoying tennis, football and high-level suburban cricket.
"It was a shock because it never occurs to a fit, healthy person that you may have a brain condition. Parkinson's slowed me down gradually, because it's a very fatiguing illness and it makes you very sore and tired. It affects your ability to move."
Shortly after the diagnosis, he went to a seminar and offered his services to Parkinson's Victoria. Soon, he was up and about, giving talks to community groups and building the organisation's ambassador program around the state.
He was invited to join the board and became president last year.
This Saturday, Mr Raymond is taking part in Parkinson's Victoria's Walk in the Park.
He hopes the initiative will clear up a myth about the condition.
"For many people, this is something that only old people suffer from in nursing homes. They don't understand that at least 20 per cent of people with Parkinson's are of working age.
"It's a misconception that it's an old person's condition and involves trembling and shaking.
"There are about 25,000 people in Victoria with Parkinson's and about 5000 of those are people going to work, bringing up families, looking after their kids, doing very normal sorts of things under great stress.
"The walk gives an opportunity for people to get out in the community, proudly display the fact that they have Parkinson's and also to encourage people to donate and raise money."
Over the past four years, Mr Raymond has been able to raise about $30,000 for the not-for-profit organisation with the help of family and friends.
He said Parkinson's Victoria depended strongly on the funds.
This year, the group is hoping to raise about $150,000 from the walk. The money will go towards research and the non-profit's activities.
"It's about telling the community that this disease deserves to be noticed. It deserves your attention and it deserves financial support."