Smaller – A Poem about Parkinsons (World Parkinson’s Congress)



Andy McDowell was diagnosed with early onset PD in December, 2009, aged 43. He wrote the poem “Smaller” for his children – to help them understand what was happening to him. The defining message being that whilst Parkinson’s has forever changed him – and the body he inhabits – he’s still his own man.

He lives in Auckland New Zealand with his wife Kate and their 2 children, Lily and Pearl, and runs a marketing consultancy.

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18 thoughts on “Smaller – A Poem about Parkinsons (World Parkinson’s Congress)

  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    It's really simple and beautiful, thank you so much for sharing it!

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    I stopped watching seven sharp halfway through because I was crying so much from how sweet the story was. I had a close family member who lived with it for 20 years and so completely understood. Much love to your family and I hope the treatments go well. There is some really advanced stuff out there for it.

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    Sent this to my Dad – Hero, mentor, genius, Parkinsons Sufferer.
    Love you Dad.

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    At the WPC 2013 Opening Ceremony Smaller was Grand Prize winner of both the WPC 2013 Video Competition and the People's Choice Award

    Congratulations!

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    The film ‘Smaller’ has been shortlisted for an award at the World Parkinson Congress in Montreal, Canada in October. I’m asking people to make a donation to help Andy to attend the 3 day Congress. It would be amazing if ‘Smaller’ won a prize, but even if it doesn’t, attending the conference will help Andy and Kate to learn about cutting edge research and care models, network with the best researchers and clinicians. Go to fundraiseonline.co.nz/smaller/

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    This really brings tears to my eyes. I wish you and your family all the best, Mr. McDowell.

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    Parkinson’s is a degenerative, neurological disorder with no known cure. One of the idiosyncrasies’ of PD is no two people have the same combination of the many motor symptoms (tremor, facial masking, slurred speech etc.) or the many non-motor symptoms (fatigue, pain, depression, cognition, memory, motivation etc). The lack of dopamine affects both physical movement and emotional life and that many people suffer from depression.

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    Awww… I loved that poem. The illustrations, voices and inspiration behind it all.. Why do disease's have to exist..? T^T

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    Excellent thought Kym!! Such an awesome an understandable way for little ones to learn to grow and live with what surrounds them….

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    Utterly beautiful, I hope you release it as a children's book at a later date.

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  • August 27, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    That was amazing, you are a brave inspiration, good spirit and loving heart. Keep shining and loving all that is yours…family, friends and life as you know it to be. So sweet too the way you explained it to your wee ones, a nice gentle way of understanding their beloved Daddy…

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