Kate Runs a Marathon for Parkinson’s
Saturday, 14th September 2013

Our Shake It Up hero this week is Kate Willcox.    Kate stepped up to get involved after her mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.   Kate has signed up for the Melbourne Marathon on the 13th of October and to date has raised over $1200.

Kate’s advice – Do whatever you can! I get the feeling this might be a bit like a marathon – once you start you can’t stop…

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

My mum was diagnosed about a year ago. It’s very early stages for her and so far she’s doing really well. But I was surprised when I learned more about Parkinson’s how common it is, and how, relatively speaking, there isn’t enough awareness of early symptoms.

Why Shake It Up Australia?

It’s important to me that we’re able to work towards a cure, and funding research is the best way. I’m pretty new to this and I was looking for a way to contribute to Parkinson’s research. When a friend sent me a link to Shake It Up I have to say my first thought was that the name appealed! We try to see the funny side of things as much as possible. Once I read more about the organisation and all the great work they do there was no question.

Tell us what you did to Shake Things Up?

I’m training to run the Melbourne Marathon in October and have been doing my best to fundraise for Shake It Up at the same time. I have been running for a while but not in any serious way, and have had a marathon in the back of my mind (mainly as something I probably could and would never do!). Once I decided to try it was only about half a second before I wanted to do something more worthwhile with my efforts.

Greatest Challenge?

When we first heard about Mum’s diagnosis it came as a shock. It was a scary prospect – I knew very little about Parkinson’s and when you don’t know much you imagine the worst. Now I’m learning a little bit more, but I try not to think about what things might be like too far ahead. I think we’ll just work things out as we need to. I’ve also discovered that training for a marathon is a pretty long and solitary process, so it’s nice to feel part of something while you’re doing it.

Greatest Reward?

I always said I would never run a marathon. Then I said I would only run one. Now I’m hoping to run in New York next year! It’s a good reminder that you really can do the things you put your mind to, and I’ve actually really enjoyed the time I’ve spent running except the hills. When I think about the amazing generosity and support of my friends and family while I become a bit obsessive for a few months!

Best advice?

Do whatever you can! I get the feeling this might be a bit like a marathon – once you start you can’t stop…

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