Prolific poet Michael Cowin 'opens a new world' for Parkinson's sufferers
A Parkinson's Disease patient who has raised £5,500 for charity by releasing books of self-penned poetry says he hopes his work will "inspire others".
Michael Cowin, from the Isle of Man, has written hundreds of verses since his diagnosis in 2006.
The retired jewellery salesman, 73, said: "I haven't walked into a corner - I've just changed road and I've written all about it with humour."
All proceeds have been donated to the Isle of Man Parkinson Disease Society.
'Nuisance not crisis'
Chairman Pamela Shimwell-Mayo, who received an MBE for services to Parkinson's Disease in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, said Mr Cowin has "opened up a new world".
According to the Society, about 500 people are living with Parkinson's on the Isle of Man.
It is a neurological condition where nerve cells in the brain die
Around one in every 500 people in the UK have the disease
People with the condition lack a chemical called dopamine, so movements become slower
Symptoms include shaking, slow movement, and inflexible muscles, which can make it difficult to walk, write, or perform tasks like doing up buttons.
The Manx registered charity relies completely on donations and spends about £60,000 a year providing vital equipment and care.
Mrs Shimwell-Mayo said Mr Cowin's poetry was "exceptional, full of fun and a real boost for the charity."
Mr Cowin said: "I hadn't written since school and I find it relaxing - so I wrote more and more.
"I am a realist - Parkinson's is a nuisance not a crisis. You live with it and die with it not from it."
One of his first poems called "Come and sit down" was about receiving his diagnosis.
"It helped me to write it down so I hope it might help others in the same position. Parkinson's isn't the end of the world and I poke fun at it and myself."
His latest project entitled Herding Cats has seen all of the Isle of Man's politicians reading his poems on an audio CD.