Our hero this week is Joel who took on the Marathon in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. As a teenager, he saw the impact that Parkinson’s had on his Grandmother’s daily living and identity. Joel believes it’s important to give back, not to take the easy road out, stand up for what you believe in and try and leave this world a little better than you found it.
What Drives Your Commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s?
When I was a teenager, my grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and I found it hard to see such an intelligent, independent loving grandmother experience a significant tremor, freezing and loss of balance. She was an active volunteer in her local community, an amazing grandmother and loving wife to my grandfather. I slowly saw the disease advance, impacting her daily living and identity.
Why Shake It Up Australia?
Shake it up Australia is a modest cause with an ambitious goal – one that I believe in and think would have a vast impact on our nation when achieved. As a country, we place a large emphasis on main stream charities which are typically beneficial to younger people. This leads to the older generation diseases and illnesses lagging behind in terms of funding which is detrimental for research gains and awareness. We need to give back more to the older generation as they are the ones who have made this country great.
Tell us what you are doing to Shake Things Up?
I think as humans we are capable of a lot more than we are currently doing. It’s easy to settle into a normal routine and watch life pass us by. I decided to take up marathon running because I believe it’s the ultimate test of physical and mental strength. We should all be setting goals that are outside of our comfort zone because that’s when extraordinary things happen. I hope to live a life that encourages others to shake up the status-quo and achieve things that they never thought they could.
When I put my call out there to donate towards Shake it up Australia I thought I would only be able to raise about $100. I was blown away by the generosity of the donations which poured in. The real reward is being able to hand over $948 to this great cause and knowing I played a small part in making a difference when advances in Parkinson’s occur.
Best advice for people looking to Shake It Up?
It’s important to give back, not to take the easy road out, stand up for what you believe in and try and leave this world a little better than you found it.