Fatima Afaar - winner of the inaugural Faculty of Medicine and Health Research Art Express Awards.

Fatima Afaar, winner of the Written category, for her artwork titled “Uncertainties”

Fatima Afaar, a PhD student with Nicolas Dzamko and Glenda Halliday, is investigating blood immune biomarkers in prodromal Parkinson's Disease patients. She has recently entered the FMH Research Art Express Awards with her poem, "Uncertainties". We are delighted to announce her winning the written category and would like to share her poem with you.


So many blood tests from all those years

All clear they tell me and there’s nothing to fear

Now the symptoms overtake me, more demanding they appear

My being is becoming imprisoned by what is still unclear

Dwelled by the shuffling of my feet, that I can so well hear

Is an individual once articulate, driven by their career

With rigidity and tremor present and a facial stare near

Overcoming new obstacles brings back the feeling of a cheer

Progressive degeneration deep within my brain, presented in the form of pathologies

The odd encounters from a decade or so ago, were early signs of a-synucleinopathies

Immeasurable, the degeneration of the cells, but detected when majority fades

These are the common experiences a Parkinson’s patient often accompanies

Perhaps the keys to this prison is in development by those dedicated by pioneers

To end the dilemma of delayed, misdiagnosed and such worries

Though it cannot be done without those life-giving blood volunteers

The aim is to chart the unexplored territory to eliminate all the uncertainties

In the future lies hope for the breakthrough of new discoveries

In optimism for blood tests that provide early and accurate diagnoses

- Fatima Afaar -