'Trying to control it will kill me.' Amanda Keller shares her husband's 6-year health battle.

Amanda Keller has announced her husband, Harley Oliver, is battling Parkinson's Disease

The Australian radio and TV personality shared the news during Thursday's episode of her new podcast Double A Chattery

Keller, who has been married to Oliver for 34 years, revealed her husband was diagnosed with the brain disorder six years ago and now, for the first time ever, she's sharing their struggle with the public. 

During the episode, she described the moment they knew something wasn't quite right.

"I first noticed Harley’s footfall around the house changing, like he was dragging his leg, and his hands started to shake, and he said he’d just been whacked in the thumbs as a wicketkeeper playing cricket," she explained to her podcast co-host, forensic psychologist Anita McGregor.

Amanda Keller and Harley Oliver. Image: Instagram @amandakeller.


"But I felt something was going on... I know Harley so well, and how protective he is of his inner core, he was absolutely scared and in denial, and who would blame him?"

Shortly after, they got bad news. He'd been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease — an incurable brain disorder that causes uncontrollable movements and starts with gradual tremors. Other symptoms are slow movement, stiffness and loss of balance. 

"When he came home [from the doctor], we both just sat there completely numb," Keller recalled. 

"Two days later, I went with our eldest son to an Open Day – he was in Year 11 – and I fought tears all day just looking at these people at the beginning of their journey, and I was so envious."

It was the moment the TV and radio star realised life was changing, not only for herself and her husband but also for the couple's two sons, Liam and Jack.

"I had such a flashback to when that was me. And I thought, 'Their journey is just starting.' And something closed off for me,'" she described. "I don’t necessarily feel that now, but this is how I felt in the early days."


Amanda Keller and Harley Oliver. Image: Instagram @amandakeller.

Keller was also unflinchingly honest about the reality of living with a loved one with the disease.

"All the things that [Parkinson’s] does [to you], I thought, 'Why isn’t he fighting it?' And of course, I’ve come to see he can’t control this, and neither can I, and that’s been a big lesson for me. So I’ve become kinder, and sadder," she explained. 


"[I’ve changed] trying not to feel like I have to control it. Because it’ll kill me. And he doesn’t want that."

Amanda Keller and Harley Oliver with their two sons. Image: Instagram @amandakeller.

The WSFM co-host said she sometimes "hates herself" for the way she feels about the disease and their living situation.

In reality, though, Keller realises she's just mourning when times were simpler.


"I miss the ease of life. Of going to a restaurant, [but then] Harley’s back gets sore, and he’s quietly spoken so the noise overwhelms him. I miss the ease of travel. It changes us," she said.

"But we’re not alone in that. Life is this stuff, isn’t it? We talk a lot about long-term relationships, and how popular culture celebrates the beginning and the end.

"But the meat of life, the joy of life, the sadness of life, the true human condition, lies in the middle," Keller added.

Despite being a self-confessed "over-sharer", the radio host kept the news of her husband's health battle a secret for six years.

"I still don’t know what to say... It’s hard when people ask, 'What’s going on with Harley?'" she said. "People are shocked at the changes, and I can’t make that better for anybody. It’s not a surprise to me, but I still don’t know what to say."

Toward the end of the podcast, Keller and her husband shared their appreciation for one another.

"I love you Harley," Keller said, to which Harley responded, "I love you too. You’re terrific with all of this."

"Somebody early on said the one thing that’ll keep you out of a rest home is the relationship you have with your partner," he added. 

"And it’s so true. I’m very grateful that we have that strength."

Feature Image: Instagram @amandakeller.

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