Our hero this week is Daniel, who had planned to run in the Run Melbourne Half Marathon in July this year. Unfortunately, due to lockdown, Run Melbourne didn’t go ahead but Daniel didn’t let that stop him, running his own half marathon in the local area AND raising $3,003 for Parkinson’s. We spoke to Daniel to hear more about his motivation and the fundraising experience.
What drives your commitment to a cure for Parkinson’s?
My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago now. It’s always hard seeing a loved one go through something out of their control, it just seems so unfair. And ever since I started my fundraiser for Shake It Up Australia, some of my friends have reached out to me and have told me their stories of their loved ones who also have Parkinson’s. I never realised it was such a common disease. This has been my motivation and driven me to push awareness for Parkinson’s so we can find a cure and improve the lives of people affected.
What did you do to ‘shake things up’ and make a difference?
I have always loved running, but have never ran more than 20km. So I set myself a goal, to join the Run Melbourne Half Marathon. I dedicated this challenge to everyone affected by Parkinson’s, and especially for my dad.
The postponing of the Run Melbourne event did not stop me running my own Half Marathon alone, around the walking tracks of Diamond Creek trail. I had family and friends cheering me on from the start to the finish, which really helped me push through the pain. Nearing the end of my run, I really wanted to stop but I kept thinking to myself, I only have to deal with this pain for 1 hour and 50 minutes, not a lifetime like people with Parkinson’s.
As well as the half marathon, we also managed to raise $3000. Such amazing generosity from family and friends.
What challenges did you encounter along the way?
The most challenging aspect of this journey was probably all mental. Yes, all those early mornings, late night training sessions and the final run were extremely difficult. But the cancellation of the event and the uncertainty of what was going to happen really made things challenging, I tried to make it not demotivate me and just focus on running for a good cause.
What advice do you have for others looking to fundraise?
The only advice I can give is, just go out and do it. No matter how big or small your challenge is, every little bit counts. To some people a half marathon seems impossible and to others it’s a walk in a park, but it was a big step for me, and I already have my eyes set on a marathon. Don’t be afraid, you will always receive amazing support from friends, family or Shake It Up themselves, who did an amazing job supporting me!
You can make a difference by challenging yourself for Parkinson’s and fundraising. Run, walk, dance, swim, cycle or something of your own imagination! 100% of the funds you raise will go directly to Australian Parkinson’s research. Find out more today.