Burpees for Parkinson’s – A Family Fundraising Challenge
Friday, 24th May 2024

Burpees for Parkinson’s A Family Fundraising Challenge

During Parkinson’s Awareness Month this year, we had so many inspiring fundraisers who came up with different ways to challenge themselves or join forces to make a difference for people living with Parkinson’s, now and into the future.

We spoke with one fundraiser, Natalie, about her family fundraising efforts to do a burpee for every $1 raised for Parkinson’s research over April. From an initial goal of $600 to raising over $3,000 (aka, 3000+ burpees to do!), the fundraising was a true community effort. Natalie shared with us their inspiration for supporting Parkinson’s research and her advice for others wanting to make a difference.

Tell us all about your burpees challenge! How did the idea come about and what is involved?

The idea for the burpee challenge actually came from our Mum. I (Natalie) was saying that I wanted to do something for Parkinson’s Awareness Month, but couldn’t think of anything really catchy starting with ‘P’ – I am terrible at push-ups and planking and even worse at making pancakes. So, Mum mentioned she’d heard of someone doing a burpee challenge where they did one burpee for every dollar raised… so that’s what we decided to do. We liked the element of challenge and figured people would dig deep if they wanted us to hurt from burpees!

How many burpees have you done so far?

At last count, Matt is in the lead on 800, Nat has done about 700 and something and Karen has done many, many burpees and lots of sit-ups. We owe 1000 each, so we are getting there. We raised over $3000 in total (or 3000 burpees, whichever way you want to look at it!)

What inspired you to support Parkinson’s research?

Our inspiration for raising money for Parkinson’s research is mainly our Dad, Ken, who was diagnosed about 13 years ago. He has lived with the ever-increasing challenges of Parkinson’s without complaint, and we are so proud of him and in awe of his positive outlook and refusal to give up. We figured that however hard the burpees get, Dad deals with the reality of mundane tasks becoming enormous challenges every day, so that’s carried us through every burpee.

Matt also has two other very close relatives living with Parkinson’s, and they were also a big inspiration behind our desire to give fundraising our best shot.

It seemed that as the word spread about our fundraising efforts amongst our family, friends and beyond, many people reached out with stories of how Parkinson’s has touched their lives. This campaign has opened our eyes to just how incredibly common and devastating this disease is, and how vital research is in its prevention, management and eventual cure.

Why did you choose to fundraise for Shake It Up Australia?

We chose Shake it Up specifically for our fundraiser because it is a small Australian company working incredibly hard to raise awareness and money for research. We were really impressed that every dollar raised goes directly into research, because of the generosity of the company directors. None is absorbed in administration or processing fees. We loved that.

What advice would you give others hoping to make a difference for Parkinson’s?

The advice I (Nat) would give to others hoping to make a difference for Parkinson’s is this: don’t underestimate how generous people are! The donations we have received and the heartfelt kindness of peoples’ well-wishes has been a little overwhelming to be honest. We set $600 as our initial goal, and have been absolutely blown away. People really care.