Michael Raises $1.5k with an All Day Running Challenge for Research
Tuesday, 9th July 2024

Michael Raises $1.5k with an All Day Running Challenge for Research

At Shake It Up, we are passionate in our belief that everyone can make a difference in their own unique way. That’s why we encourage supporters to create their own fundraising challenges, and we’re always excited to hear about the new ideas people come up with to raise funds and awareness about the impact of Parkinson’s disease and the need for more innovative research. Recently, one of our fundraisers, Michael, took on a unique challenge to complete 7 different local Park Runs in the one day – which meant that he ran for more than 10 hours across the day and raised more than $1,500 for research! We spoke to Michael all about his fundraising challenge, what inspired him, and why he is passionate about growing awareness within the community.

Hi Michael! Tell us all about your running challenge for research. 

My challenge was part of the Longest Run Australia which was run over 7 different venues across the south Eastern suburbs of Victoria. I completed a total of 35km for the day starting at 7am and finishing at 5:30pm. I was inspired to take this on due to family members that suffer from Parkinson’s disease. I trained for 12 weeks in preparation and now I’m looking to do a 50km race later in the year.

What were some of the highlights and hurdles on the day?

The highlight of the day was the support throughout from my family and friends – and especially my two mates running the last run with me. I did however go into the day with an injury which flared up during the day.

Why did you choose to raise funds for Shake It Up?

I choose to raise funds for Shake It Up Australia because Parkinson’s disease has been within my family for over 50 years now. Unfortunately, two generations of my family have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As a child, I was somewhat oblivious to the impact this condition has on the body’s ability to perform simple tasks, even though my grandfather Robin, who was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s at the age of 34, lived in a granny flat right outside my childhood home. Parkinson’s disease has been a constant presence throughout my childhood and adulthood within my family. As I grew up, I witnessed my grandfather’s struggles with the effects of Parkinson’s. In 2015, my mother was diagnosed with the disease, although symptoms had been apparent for a decade but were only recognised by doctors at her workplace, the local hospital. She has endured shaking hands, sleep deprivation, restless legs, and periods of depression. Living in a different state from our extended family has compounded these challenges. At present, my mother is living with Parkinson’s, and we face the uncertainty of what the future holds for her, myself, and our family. The need for further research and funding for Parkinson’s disease is something I am passionate about, and I aim to raise more awareness.

What is your advice for others hoping to make a difference for Parkinson’s research?

Keep communicating the importance of raising awareness and much-needed funds – we need research to keep advancing in treatments and in diagnosis.