Woman diagnosed with Parkinson's after Wii Fit reveals poor balance

Most people who step onto a Wii Fit and realize how off-balance their stance is can easily correct it and get on with their lives. But 54-year-old Julie Wilks has a very different story.

The British mother of two bought Wii Fit but had trouble playing it - her balance leaned heavily to one side. When she started experiencing other symptoms, she recalled the game's feedback, and went to see her doctor.

Long story short, Mrs. Wilks was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

"It's quite amazing that a computer game was able to point out there was a problem," she told a local newspaper interview.

Wilks never had any serious health concerns before playing Wii Fit so had no reason to look into the possibility that she might have a serious illness. Quite a story, isn't it?

Wilks isn't taking the news sitting down, either. She's actively working on the battle to find a cure, and has set up a website called Give A Little Sunshine to raise awareness about the disease.

(Note to hypochondriacs: If you also have trouble balancing on the Wii Balance Board, you probably just have poor balance.)

[Source: Yorkshire Post Via]

Jan 13, 2011

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  • michaelpreston - January 18, 2011 6:10 a.m.

    Ok, so one person (potentially) found good health from that plastic eyesore. Good for her!
  • oryandymackie - January 14, 2011 4:46 p.m.

    Wii Fit finds purpose! Hurrah!
  • FanofSaiyan - January 14, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    "Nintendo: Saving lives, one peripheral at a time."
  • Hobogonigal - January 14, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    @jmcgrotty It was decided a few years ago that it would be called Wii instead of Revolution. Still in denial...? Poor woman, I hope that she finds some treatment to help with the disease and prolong the time she has before full symptoms kick in. Pretty lucky that she went to see the doctor though after playing Wii Fit. Many people would just put it down to bad balance.
  • pr0tostar - January 14, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    House for the wii! This totally sounds like one of the obscure stumbled-upon diagnoses you'd see in an episode lol
  • jmcgrotty - January 14, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    Guess we know what the Revolution pulse attachment from E3 a few years ago is meant for now. Called like the vitality sensor or something, wasn't it? And not to be picky about something, but if you go to her page, she makes no mention of the Revolution having any role in her going to the doctor. I am not saying she is lying in either case, but would be great if she would help spread the story as a feel-good one for the industry. (On the other hand, it would be a bit unsettling if the industry used her purely for selfish reasons of making themselves look good)
  • AngryAmoeba - January 14, 2011 6:21 a.m.

    @TheWerebear: Well if we're gonna be picky, the Wii is a computer. It computes. Really, all console games are computer games. We just have this habit of only referring to one type of computer as a computer.
  • GameManiac - January 14, 2011 3:14 a.m.

    If Nintendo ever moves on from videogames (Ha! yeah right!), they might move to the medical business. There'd be Nintendo hospitals, Dr. Mario's, and Pokemon centers with Nurse Joys (for people of course).
  • TheWerebear - January 14, 2011 2:31 a.m.

    "Computer game"? I dislike incorrectness. >:O
  • TheCakeIsaPie - January 14, 2011 2:14 a.m.

    @alphaman: That's classy.
  • rabidpotatochip - January 14, 2011 2:12 a.m.

    That's got to be the strangest way I've ever heard of someone receiving bad news but I majorly respect how she's taking it.
  • BlankBrush - January 14, 2011 1:12 a.m.

    So...Wii Fit is capable of finding parkinson's? Interesting.....
  • alphaman - January 14, 2011 12:33 a.m.

    I was about to make a Marty McFly joke with the board and everything... but figured it would be in bad taste, so I'll just make a reference to the fact that I'm not making the joke instead.
  • Eliath - January 13, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    This is cool on one point and sad on another. My heart goes out to Mrs. Wilks.

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