A mum took two years to return to the doctors to find out the outcome of her Parkinson's test as she knew what was coming.
Donna Marshall, of Newcomen Road, Tunbridge Wells, admits she was putting off being given the bombshell news after watching her nan and her mum succumb to the disease.
The corporate businesswoman was only 42 when she was out one New Year's Eve and her left hand started to shake uncontrollably.
After a visit to the doctor, Donna was sent to a neurologist for tests. But it took her another two years to go back for her follow-up appointment as she has a history of the disease in her family and did not want to hear the inevitable.
"I knew in the back of my mind exactly what it was but the reality was I did not want to accept it," she said. "I figured if I did not go in front of the doctor then I didn't have the dreaded disease."
Donna, 53, grew up surrounded by the condition as her nan was diagnosed in her seventies and her mum in her sixties.
She watched as Parkinson's took hold of her mum, leaving her hallucinating about people sitting in the corner of the room, and eventually being left in a vegetative state for the last six years of her life.
"She couldn't understand what was reality and what was just in her mind. It was the worst thing to see," she said.
And it was those images that flashed through her mind when she first received her diagnosis.
"I immediately worried that I would end up like that and I absolutely worry about what will happen to me in the future."
Donna is keen that her daughter Beau, who is nine, does not see the debilitating side of the disease.
"I try to keep it from her," she admitted. "I wake up early and take my pills on the sofa watching TV until I'm ready for business as normal."
The single mum admits some days are better than others and it can be hard to keep the symptoms hidden.
"Sometimes I can't even walk from the bedroom to the kitchen to take my drugs, but I still try to do it myself. I don't want her to see me like that."
Donna says the evenings are the worst when the drugs have worn off and she is shaking uncontrollably.
She said: "It's exhausting and it's painful."
Donna has also developed a condition called dystonia which is connected to Parkinson's and means her leg and lower back muscles cramp without warning.
She remembers one particularly awful moment when she was walking her daughter to school and her leg cramped.
She said: "It was too far to walk back home and I couldn't walk forwards. I was just standing there, frozen, in floods of tears."
Donna remembers a stranger coming to her aid and offering to take her daughter to school.
'If you lay back and let Parkinson's take you, it will'
"I let her take her and then after she left with her I thought 'I didn't even know the woman and I'd just sent her off with my daughter'."
Fortuntately for Donna the woman was genuine and came back to reassure her and to help her home. "We have become really good friends," she said.
Donna admits it is the public aspect of the disease which is the worst.
She added: "It's so embarrassing."
Donna said she is regularly stared at on the train, which only makes it worse.
"If I notice someone staring I get anxious and that just makes me shake more, she said. "Then my face will go into what we call the Parkinson's mask and my muscles won't move."
Some people with Parkinson's suffer this more than others and the effects can last hours or even a whole day.
"When it happens, my friends sometimes think I'm in a mood with them," Donna said.
Her body can react to the amount of drugs she is taking and start to move in an uncontrollably odd way as it struggles to absorb the medication.
"It happened outside a pub once and people thought I was having an epileptic fit. It was so embarrassing and I just wanted to get away but I couldn't."
She said there are so many negatives caused by Parkinson's disease people are not aware of, including the loss of smell and taste and the inability to have sugar.
"Your sense of smell and taste is the first thing that goes," she says. "I lost mine when I was 26, before I was even diagnosed."
The lack of sugar is also particularly hard for Donna, as she admits she likes a drink.
"I can't go out on a bender with my friends like I used to. If they have shots I just have to sit there with my beer."
But there are positive aspects too. Donna makes sure she always lives in the moment and has made a bucket list of things she wants to do.
"I never put things off. I just do it," she said.
She has already ticked off Turkey and Paris and is planning to see her favourite opera performed in Italy, as well as attend the famous tomato-throwing event La Tomatina in Spain.
She also tries her best to battle the degenerative aspects of the disease, including brain fog and depression, by learning Spanish as a way to keep her brain active and keeping her body fit and her mind healthy with regular HIIT excercise classes.
She said: "If you lay back and let Parkinson's take you, it will."
She is also adamant the disease is not going to stop her providing for her daughter.
After receiving the devastating diagnosis, Donna quit her job in the corporate world.
"I knew it was going to get worse and I needed to be in control of my own destiny."
Using her love of children, her education in anatomy and physiology and her experience in management she decided to buy a children's shoe shop.
'I never put things off. I just do it'
She is also undergoing surgery to have a brain pacemaker fitted, which will stimulate the nervous tissue with electrical signals and hopefully mean Donna can reduce her medication because she is on the maximum dose .
The procedure, called deep brain stimulation, has been carried out since 1985 and works by attaching electrodes to your brain with wires which travel down inside your neck and attach to a battery pack under the skin on your chest.
Donna is hoping it will change her life for her and her daughter.
"Beau thinks its normal that her mum is shaking and in pain. After the operation I'm hoping the new normal will just be normal."
Donna is keen to help find a cure for the disease and is taking part in drugs trials. She is also taking part in the Catwalk for a Cure fashion show in May to raise funds for Parkinson's UK.
"You have to do what you can to help," she said.