One half of The Veronicas Jess Origliasso has opened up about her mother’s battle with a rare degenerative disease, progressive supranuclear palsy.
In an Instagram post on International Women’s Day, Origliasso shared a family photo with her mum Colleen and sister Lisa – “the two strongest women I know.”
“Our mummy was finally diagnosed with an extremely rare neurological condition called #Progressivesupranuclearpalsy after many misdiagnoses,” she wrote.
“It presents itself in the most cruel and debilitating symptoms, losing all motor and cognitive function over the course of a few years.
“I won’t begin to tell you here what that looks like. It’s absolute hell.”
Around 1,300 Australians have been diagnosed with the condition, according to PSP Australia, a support group for people affected by progressive supranuclear palsy. Many more cases go undiagnosed.
Symptoms include loss of balance, slowing of movement and dementia, and for this reason it is sometimes mistaken for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no cure for the condition.
“We were never given timelines, we are forced to live in perspective of this disease,” Origliasso wrote.
“I will never have the words to explain how unbearable it is to see someone you love go through something like this.
The duo have long been open about their mother’s condition but rarely shared personal insights into their life.
Several commenters used the opportunity to share their own experience of having relatives with the disease.
“My mother has recently been diagnosed with this horrific disease,” replied one person.
“I feel for you and your family as I know EXACTLY what you are going through. Very sad, very trying, a complete rollercoaster ride of emotion.”
“My Nan had this disease as well. It’s extremely cruel!! My heart goes out to you both,” wrote another.
Origliasso used International Women’s Day to pay tribute to her mum’s personal strength and acknowledge other people suffering with the disease.
“The awareness of this disease comes second only to the note of strength my incredible Mummy has shown every step of the way,” she wrote.
“We don’t share any photos or videos of what really goes on behind the smiling photos, but to those who know the reality of terminal illness, our hearts are with you.”