Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gary Hatcher's Book Launch: You Probably Have Parkinson's Disease

Saturday 17th July 2010 was the long-awaited day when Gary's book was officially launched at the Bracken Ridge Community Centre, to a very receptive group of family, friends, neighbours, former colleagues and members of the medical profession.

In 2000, Gary retired from 30 years of being a primary school principal.  Slowly, a few things went wrong - he couldn't whistle, he had a slight tic in his wrist, he lost his sense of smell, he had trouble with his voice and he developed a stiff shoulder, and these problems were treated independently of each other.  In 2002, a doctor, while administering a cortisone injection into his stiff shoulder, remarked "By the way, you probably have Parkinson's disease."  This diagnosis was later confirmed, and then Gary and his wife Ruth embarked on a difficult and tumultuous journey.  In March 2009, when medication could no longer provide Gary with a satisfactory quality of life, he underwent a Deep Brain Stimulation operation.  While life was by no means plain sailing after this, Gary now looks forward to a bright and active future.  His book You Probably Have Parkinson's Disease is a light hearted record of his experiences to date.

Gary's brother Bryan was MC for the morning.

Grandson Connor wanted to sit with Gary.

Gary's speech.

Gary's speech.


Gary's speech.

Gary's speech.

Gary's speech.

Anne's speech.
Jim tells the story of when he and Gary, both primary school principals on the Gold Coast, decided to take an early mark one afternoon to go fishing, telephoning Gary’s school to say he had an important meeting to attend. When Gary arrived back, Ruth had three questions to ask:

1. What was that sudden important meeting you had to attend?

2. Why did you wear those old clothes to a meeting?

3. Where did all those fish come from?

Karen's speech.
Karen officially launches the book.  Hooray!
Casey draws the raffle.
Nigel wins the lucky door prize.
Champagne for Anne.
The gathering.
Nigel and the lucky door prize.
Darren and Connor.
Broni and Darren with Connor.

Leonie with Callum and Casey.
Lindsay and Robyn on their wedding anniversary.
Grant and Kim

Gary signs Pat's book.

Best wishes to Ruth and Gary for the future (and we hope you sell lots of books).
To buy a copy of this heartwarming book, please email:


  1. What a great story! Thanks for posting it, Jan

  2. Hi Jan,

    Great post about the launch of Gary's book, we're so very pleased to hear about the great turn out!

    With your permission, I'd like to use an image or two in our next magazine and was wondering if by any chance you would be able to email some through to me?

    Kind regards,

    Rebecca - Information Officer
    Parkinson's Queensland Inc.
    Ph: 3209 1588