North East Connected

Tim prepares for uphill climb against Parkinson’s

Tim Hakim, 47, who works for Sunderland Children centres, is taking on the mammoth challenge of climbing the North face of the Eiger mountain in Switzerland, and has set a target to raise £1million for vital research into the progressive condition, that affects one in 500 people.

Tim, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three years ago, has been a keen mountaineer for the last 30 years, and has long harboured an ambition to take on the Eiger, but now – with his condition developing – he is determined to tackle the 13,000-foot mountain, while he is physically able to do so.

Tim said: “I have always been into mountaineering, and it was during training that I first noticed that I was shaking. At first I thought it was nothing to worry about, but when it happened several times I’ve realised that there may be something underlying.

“I visited my GP and she referred me to a consultant where it was confirmed that I had Parkinson’s Disease.  It was a real body blow.  I knew little about the condition, but was aware that it was progressive, which made it harder to deal with as you have to accept that it’s not going to get better, and will only get worse.  The trajectory can be rapid or steady, and I still don’t know how quickly the condition will advance, but so far I seem to be dealing with it well.”

He added: “When I was a child, in the 70s, I saw a feature on John Craven’s Newsround about the North face of the Eiger.  I realised that completing this climb in spite of my condition would make it a real challenge, and potentially one that would be big enough to raise significant awareness and funds to help find a cure.

“I am determined not to let Parkinson’s stop me.  Like climbing Eiger’s North face, finding a cure for Parkinson’s can also feel impossibly hard at times, but with dedication and determination a cure will be found and with generous donations in aid of my climb, I know a cure can be found sooner rather than later.”

Tim will be setting off to climb the mountain in March 2017 and expects it to take three to four days, led by a qualified guide.  For a long time, climbing the North face of Eiger was considered impossibly hard but was eventually climbed in 1938.

Suzanne McKenna, North East & Cumbria Regional Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “I’d like to wish Tim the very best of luck tackling this phenomenal fundraiser.  I hope the climb is a safe, but amazing experience.  We hope Tim’s story will inspire others diagnosed with Parkinson’s to keep doing the things they love and to fundraise to help find a cure.

“As the UK’s only Parkinson’s support and research charity we’re leading the work to find a cure, and we’re closer than ever. But our work is dependent on donations.”

To sponsor Tim, visit his online giving page at:

The funds raised by Tim will allow Parkinson’s UK to continue with its vital research work to find a cure, and improve the lives of the 127,000 people living in the UK who are affected by Parkinson’s.

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