Annelise Kumri is a content creator, motherhood and lifestyle influencer, and makeup artist. After joining the Shake It Up team as an ambassador in 2023, Annelise has been working to raise awareness, increase understanding and smash the Parkinson’s stigma with her online community of more than 41,000 followers.
We spoke with Annelise about her commitment to raising awareness and funds for Parkinson’s, her recent successful fundraising event, and why she feels it’s so important to start a conversation online about this disease.
Hi Annelise. Can you tell us about why you chose to become an ambassador for Shake It Up Australia?
My Mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016 but it wasn’t until the last few years that it has really taken over every aspect of her life. In my many hours of researching I came across Shake it Up Australia and the amazing research being funded.
What inspires your commitment to a cure for Parkinson’s?
I’ve seen first hand how Parkinson’s affects not only the person living with it, but also the whole family. It’s a terrible disease and while sadly a cure will be too late for my Mum, I’d like to be able to see a cure in my lifetime.
Why do you feel it’s important to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around Parkinson’s?
When most people think of Parkinson’s they only think of tremors/shaking and speech problems but there are also many other symptoms like difficulty sleeping, difficulty swallowing, constipation, anxiety, depression, nightmares, hallucinations, dementia which people should be aware of. Slowness of movement or speech can be misunderstood or perceived as a different condition, so it’s important to educate to reduce the Parkinson’s stigma.
How did you support Pause4Parkinson’s this year?
I fundraised during April for Pause4Parkinons. I asked my family, friends and followers to donate. I also held a Picnic4Parkinson’s where guests made donations, bought raffle tickets and bid on donated silent auction items to raise funds. I exceeded my goal of $1,000 and have raised a total of $1,255 so far!
Photos by @claire_alyce_
What advice do you have for anyone else looking to shake things up and make a difference for Parkinson’s?
If you’re passionate about making a difference for Parkinson’s and people can see your passion then generally they will respond well and want to help!
You can support Annelise’s fundraising goal here
Follow Annelise’s journey on Instagram @annelisekumri