Five years ago, I became one of 80,000 people in Australia living with Parkinson’s disease.
Recently retired at 58, I was fortunate to grow up on the beautiful northern beaches of Sydney where I lived for much of my life. Wanting to contribute to the fight against Parkinson’s in some way I came up with the ‘crazy’ idea of walking from Sydney to Dubbo to raise funds for Parkinson’s research.
My very good friends David Hynd, Bradley and Narelle Floyd and my eldest son James, all northern beaches locals, will set out with me on November 7th to walk the 400km from Sydney to Dubbo. Our goal is to raise $20,000 for the Shake It Up Foundation to help fund the research to find that elusive cure for Parkinson’s. The $20,000 becomes $40,000 as the Michael J Fox Foundation matches every dollar we raise.
Why Sydney to Dubbo? As a descendant of First Fleet convicts the walk retraces my family’s westward migration over the last two hundred plus years. We’re starting in Orchard Hills near Penrith from the very place Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson began their expedition in 1813 to cross the Blue Mountains. We will be on the road for 18 days walking through the traditional lands of the Dareebin, Dharuk, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri nations. Along the way we are staying in country pubs, historic cottages and community halls and plan to arrive in Dubbo on November 24th.
The response we’ve received thus far has been quite overwhelming. We’ve had numerous offers of accommodation, meals and assistance with fundraising activities from many generous people.
It will be challenging but a lot of fun and it’s all for a great cause!