The Catalyst Award

New York-born, Cork-based Annmarie O’Connor has had much success in her life as an author, editor, and stylist. From publishing two books to being at the helm of fashion columns for countless Irish publications and styling commercial and editorial shoots, O’Connor is a well-regarded voice on the Irish fashion scene.
In August 2022, O’Connor wrote a column with a very different subject matter at its heart. She penned, for the first time, about her experience of being diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in her 40s. She wrote about her symptoms – from tremors, shakes, restless legs and involuntary movements – to the medication she must take every four hours. This was followed by her appearance on the Tommy Tiernan Show earlier this year, in which O’Connor’s honest account of living with Parkinson’s was met with a groundswell of support from the Irish public. Since then, O’Connor has been candidly sharing her experience in regular check-ins on her Instagram alongside spreading awareness of the 40-plus symptoms of the progressive, degenerative disorder which currently has no cure.
As part of Parkinson’s Awareness Week in April, O’Connor launched a five-part podcast focusing on personal stories from the Irish Parkinson’s community, inspiring others to talk about their illness, debunking the stigma and the myths around the disease and becoming an agent of change for how it, and those who live with it, are perceived.

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