Andrew takes on the Cape-to-Cape race for Research
Thursday, 29th February 2024

Last year, one of our supporters Andrew, took on the Cape to Cape race with his good friend Darren, to challenge himself and raise funds for cutting-edge Parkinson’s research. Andrew raised close to $4,000 for Shake It Up in the process – well above his initial $1k goal! We spoke to him all about his experience of the race, what inspired him to take on the challenge, and his advice for other’s.

Hi Andrew! Can you tell us all about what inspired you to take on this challenge?

When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s there was that moment when you picture the end of all of the physical activities that you love to do. Mountain biking has been my big passion for the past 10 years or so, and so the initial driving force to enter the race was the ‘Bucket List’ motivation, driven by the fear that one day I won’t be able to do this, so lets do it while I can. This fear morphed a little over time. It became a way to prove to myself that I can still do this, I can do this well and this is not the end. Also I wanted to use this challenge to raise awareness and of course funds towards research.

How did you train for race day?

I trained quite hard for the event. I didn’t want to struggle at all, I wanted it to be an enjoyable experience and this motivation to be fitter than I really needed to be to simply ‘get through’ worked very well.

When you have a tough day it’s easy to just want to sit and relax, but there is so much information out there about the benefits of exercise, strength and fitness in Parkinson’s that training for the event just gave me that bit extra motivation to get out there and train.

How was the race itself? What were some of the highlights?

We finished 5th in our category which was great, I had no expectations on how we would go and that really didn’t matter! We were just in it for the experience and personal challenge. But I was very pleased with our result.

I haven’t done much in the way of racing and I learnt some important lessons on what you need to do when racing in a huge field of riders rather than just getting out and riding fast. The first two days had more sand riding than I expected and sand is not something I’m used to riding in often. Overall the experience was amazing, we had a great time and this might not be last event that we enter as a team.

How have you kept up the training or exercise goals since completing the race?

Since returning from the race my daughter entered us into a mixed gender social basketball competition which is really good. As a junior I played at the highest levels in Tasmania and represented the State for many years so it’s great to be back playing the sport I loved for so long and to play on the same team as your children is pretty cool!

What do you wish people understood more about Parkinson’s disease?

I feel there is a certain perception of what Parkinson’s is. Most people seem to define it by the physical symptoms with little or no understanding that there is a huge range of non-motor symptoms to this disease as well.

Why did you choose to raise funds for Shake It Up?

Like the founder of Shake It Up, Clyde Campbell, I don’t only want to be someone who has Parkinson’s, I want to be someone who does something about having it. If I can do anything to help any of my fellow disease sufferers now or in the future that is my real desire for fundraising.

After getting the message out there, it was so humbling to see the donations come in and all of the support from so many people. This made the decision all worth it. It’s also been an avenue to start conversations with people, and it’s given others a way to approach me, for them to offer support, and for many people it gave them a way to ask questions about my diagnosis and disease that they probably wouldn’t have if not for the fundraiser. It’s given me a way to speak about the disease openly and do my bit to raise awareness.

Shake It Up made the whole process so very, very easy to set up the fundraiser and manage the process. The fact that the organisation is not for profit and all fundraising goes directly to fund research was absolutely a huge factor for me.

You can support Andrew’s fundraising efforts here. 

Make a difference this April for Parkinson’s Awareness Month by participating in fundraising and hosting a #Pancakes4Parkinsons event!