CELEBRITY

Amanda Keller pays touching tribute to husband amidst Parkinson’s diagnosis

It's an emotional time for the Keller family.
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Gold Logie winner Amanda Keller has shared an emotional tribute to her husband Harley Oliver in celebration of their 34th wedding anniversary.

Sharing a throwback black and white photo of the couple to her Instagram, the radio host reflected upon how her marriage had changed in the face of her husband being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease more than seven years ago.

“Harley’s Parkinson’s disease has sent a variety of challenges that he accepts with stoicism and grace (more so than I do),” she penned.

“But the essence of ‘him’ and ‘us’ remains. It’s the stuff we all face as we age and grow and morph, if we’re lucky.”

amanda keller husband
The couple celebrated 24 years of marital bliss in May 2024. (Credit: Instagram)

Earlier this year, Amanda broke down on her radio show after Best Years of Our Lives by veteran Aussie rockstar Richard Clapton came on.

She revealed at the time that the song had been played in various “pivotal” moments in her life and therefore was one she held very close to her heart.

However, on that occasion, her mind automatically thought of her husband, leaving her in tears on live radio.

“It reminds you to hold on to the moments,” she said. “This is an amazing song.”

The lyrics say: “I say, Don’t waste time, These are the best years of our lives.” 

“As I get older, I see this song differently. There’s a lyric here and I think of Harley who’s going through health battles,” she continued.

“And it says, ‘I wish time would stop 10 years ago’, I’m learning slowly life’s always changing.

“Don’t waste time, but this is a lesson for all of us, whether it’s your kids leaving home, [or] your parents passing away.

“We all have our challenges but hold on to every moment cause it’s so precious.”

amanda keller husband
Amanda met Harley while working on the science-based TV series Beyond 2000. (Credit: Instagram)

In September 2023, the former television presenter revealed to the public for the first time that Harley had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for almost seven years.

Reflecting upon the moment they returned home from the doctor, Amanda described how she and Harley both felt “completely numb” when they learned of his diagnosis on her podcast Double A Chattery.

“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.”

She explained to forensic psychologist Anita McGregor that she 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,” which are all signs of Parkinson’s.

Sadly, not long after they noticed the signs, he was diagnosed.

amanda keller husband
“People are lovely. Thank you for your kind messages about Harley, and the news that he is living with Parkinson’s. As he says, life is good, and we appreciate your good wishes. X” (Credit: Instagram)

It all came to a head when a waiter asked her where the “old man [she was with] a few weeks ago [went], [as] he looked really ill,” in front of her son Jack.

“It shocked us, that this rich man we know, and this rich love we have for this man… was seen from the outside to look like that,” she said tearily.

Keller soothed her son by explaining, “That guy in the restaurant sees this guy prematurely aged and not looking healthy, but the richness of the journey that brings us here is a fabulous journey, and there’s still more to come.”

Amanda and her sons, Jack and Liam, have continued to savour every moment with their husband and father. The family bought a holiday house on the NSW South Coast last year.

Keller revealed, “I’ve had to work out how I feel about the future, and I’ve given up. Not in a bad way, but I can’t afford to think what will happen in 5 or 10 years time. I just can’t think about that.”

“Somebody early on said the one thing that’ll keep you out of a rest home is the relationship you have with your partner, and it’s so true. I’m very grateful that we have that strength.”

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