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Suzuki GB director Dale Wyatt: Parkinson’s disease ‘does not define me’

Suzuki GB director of automobile Dale Wyatt has asserted that Parkinson’s “does not define me” after taking to social media to share his approach to living with the disease more than four years after diagnosis.

Wyatt, who discussed his ‘#GoodDifferent’ approach to running the Japanese carmaker’s UK operations in an AM News Show episode last September, took to LinkedIn to voice his defiance of his symptoms in a heartfelt post timed to coincide with Parkinson’s UK disease awareness month.

“I have Parkinson’s and I don’t like it,” declared Wyatt, before acknowledging that “The reality is that not liking it does not stop me from having to live with it”.

He added: “There is room for both of us and we must coexist and find a way to get along together.”

Wyatt’s ‘unwanted hitchhiker’

World Parkinson’s Day takes place on April 11.

Wyatt was diagnosed with the condition in December 2018 and said that his symptoms are “fairly mild”, adding that they were “irritating but mostly manageable”.

According to Parkinson’s UK, around 145,000 people live with Parkinson’s in the UK.

It is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world.

Among the symptoms of the currently incurable disease are tremors, muscle stiffness, slowness of movement and impaired balance and coordination, depression, difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking constipation and sexual dysfunction.

Wyatt’s Parkinson’s symptoms have not been his only recent challenge.

In October AM reported that he was taking leave from his post to care for his wife, following her diagnosis with terminal cancer.

Wyatt has continued to drive the Suzuki GB car retail operation with his trademark commitment and enthusiasm, however.

Suzuki GB director of automobile Dale Wyatt with the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) Awards Trusted Quality Provide trophyAhead of his appearance on the AM News Show, he completed an intense period of meetings with franchisees about Suzuki GB’s priorities and brand values.

Last month he was able to take to the stage at the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) Awards 2023 after that values focus paid dividends with a Trusted Quality Provider award for Suzuki GB and its franchised retail partners.

Personal development

Giving an insight into his approach to delivering strong leadership, while, coming to terms with Parkinson’s, Wyatt said: “I think of Parkinson’s as an inner voice, an alter ego, something that inhabits my body but does not define me.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease and as I lose a physical or cognitive ability, I try to replace it with a new skill. I call it lose one, gain one.

“It’s a matter of mindset and my mind is set on living my life to the full.”

Wyatt asserted that he has “big plans” and that “my greatest work lies ahead of me”, describing Parkinson’s as “my reluctant passenger”.

He expressed hope that a cure might be found so that others do not have to deal with the condition and said that he remained positive and expectant that improved treatments might help minimise his symptoms.

“I am ever hopeful of saying goodbye to this unwanted hitchhiker and continuing with my life’s journey unencumbered”, he added.

“Until that moment arrives Parkinson’s will have to find a way to put up with me.”

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