Hal Shakes It Up for Parkinson’s
Friday, 6th December 2013

This week’s Shake It Up Hero is Hal Hissey. Hal and his mates formed a Bondi to Bronte Ocean Swim group and raised over $6,400 in the process!

What Drives Your Commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s?

A close family friend of mine has had Parkinson’s disease for close to 30 years now. Seeing firsthand the impact the disease can have on the family unit and how unique the symptoms are to the individual motivated me to become involved.

Why Shake It Up Australia?

Shake It Up takes a real positive approach in fighting to find a cure for Parkinson’s. There is something ambitious and motivating about a foundation that has a core focus of finding a cure. It seems like it could be a real game changer for PD.

Tell us what you are doing to Shake Things Up?

Me and 8 mates competed in the 2.5km Bondi to Bronte Ocean Swim. We banked over $6,300 for Shake It Up which was absolutely amazing. To explain my attire, I set a side challenge that the highest individual donor could design my swimming trunks. I was more than happy to embarrass myself for a good cause but I had no idea my work colleagues would be so cruel with the design. They formed a secret “cartel” to ensure they had the winning bid and the honour of destroying my dignity.

Greatest Challenge?

We chose a challenge that would give a bit of shock-value. None of us had competed in an Ocean Swim and most people genuinely thought we wouldn’t be able to finish it. Overcoming the negativity and jumping in the pool every couple of days was the key challenge. I also hadn’t given the custom swimsuit a proper trial run and it proved to be quite heavy in the water.

Greatest Reward?

When we were having a celebratory steak and beer at the pub afterwards a girl approached our table. She saw we had Shake It Up tees and wanted to thank us for our efforts because her dad had PD. It doesn’t get much more satisfying than that, it was great to see that we made an impact on the community. Not drowning was also rewarding, as well as beating my mate Mitch Owen in a photo finish!

Best advice?

Get a group of friends involved and make it as fun as possible. But whatever you do, don’t let your friends design your swimwear.

Boys take on the Bondi to Bronte for Parkinson's