PRIDE: Matt Eagles

Blog

You don’t need to have worked at Lynx long to have heard about Matt. Matt’s had Parkinson’s disease since he was 8 years old, but having the condition since an early age hasn’t stopped him living life to the full. Over the years, he’s jumped out of planes, abseiled town halls, and photographed Team GB at the 2012 Olympics, and he’s now working as a patient engagement lead to help improve the patient experience around the globe.

I’ve always felt the culture of this company is absolutely unbelievable, even before I even worked here. The first time I came across the Havas Lynx Group was when the film team interviewed me for a patient piece. They were so relatable, understanding and darn professional.

After that, I worked with the company in a voluntary role for a time, but as soon as there was a sniff of a job, I thought, just you try and stop me! Joining was a total no-brainer for me.

And since I’ve come on board, I’ve only continued to be impressed. Everybody works so incredibly hard, but the beauty of it is that we all work as a team, pulling together in the same direction, making every ounce of effort count. It’s such an inspiring thing, the spirit here, the feeling that people genuinely care and genuinely can make a real difference. It’s certainly what gets me going; that and the responsibility and respect I’m afforded here.

I’ve never worked anywhere where I’ve felt so intensely that people believe in me and what I can do. And that’s huge – I reckon this job has taken 10 years off me! I feel so energised and excited. I’ve just turned 50 and whilst I look back at the terrific last decade I’ve had, in my role at Lynx I only see the next 10 years as being even better!

The quality of the work we produce here is phenomenal. I take particular pride in the #ParkyLife stuff. Over the years, I’ve heard so many stories about bad experiences people with Parkinson’s have had at diagnosis – where they’ve not been signposted to information, not had guidance on what to do next, and been left to google Parkinson’s only to find James Parkinson’s 200 year-old line drawings of a frail old man doddering about. That’s not what Parkinson’s is nowadays, and I think the most important part of my role as Patient Engagement Lead is to drive the idea that people shouldn’t feel limited by their conditions.

Too often, the medical advice patients receive implies they’re done, that the world’s an impossible place, and you’d better be ready to settle for second best. Well that’s no good, is it?

I’ve never looked at my Parkinson’s as a barrier that can stop me doing something I want to do. It’s an obstacle, yes; one that might trip me up a few times. I accept that. But I also know that I’ll always get up again, and I’ll find a way to do the things I want to do.

My hope for the future is to continue to bring patients, healthcare professionals, and pharma together, and get them talking! Because too often, they’re not. We all share the same overarching goal. Left to our own devices, we lose sight of this. But when we come together, we’re not just reminded of it, but we can inspire each other to find ways to achieve our shared aims.