Our Hero this week is Amy who along with her family ran in the Canberra Times Fun Run in honour of her Grandfather who passed away recently. Amy’s Grandfather was a very charitable man with a big heart who would help those in need, whether they were a friend, family or a stranger. For the family, it was a great way to honour him on fathers day.
What Drives Your Commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s?
My Grandfather Jim Johnson recently passed away, on the 1st of August this year. He had many health complications that played a part in his passing, and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in his last years of life contributed to his painful final years.
Seeing a loved one experience the side effects of any disease or illness is a hard thing to watch. It makes you question why there is no cure for them, along with feeling sad and angry that there is nothing you can do, all you can do is hope for the best and that the next day will be better than the last. Grandfather lived to 90 years of age, so he had good a long life, but that didn’t make it any easier.
It’s heartbreaking to know that someone as young as 40 can go through the same thing when they should be at the peak of their life. I wanted to do something worthy in honour of my Grandfather. I knew that Parkinson’s was a debilitating disease, but after researching into how serious it is and how many lives it affects, I felt the drive to make a contribution to finding a cure.
Why Shake It Up Australia?
Simply because Shake It Up is an Australia not for profit organisation whose donations go 100% into research to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Tell us what you are doing to Shake Things Up?
My family and I recently participated in the Canberra Times Fun Run to raise funds and awareness for those living with Parkinson’s disease. We asked our friends and family for donations to go towards the Shake It Up Foundation. The money we raised in 3 weeks was more than we expected, and we feel very grateful for all those that contributed. During our 3 week mission, I posted on social media the facts about Parkinson’s disease and the effects it has on those who live with it daily. A lot of people are unaware of how debilitating this disease is, and we wanted to make it known how serious it is and how important that a cure is found.
It feels wonderful doing something for those who need it the most. The happiest people in life are the givers, not the getters. In the 3 week, we raised $1,405.50 which is a fantastic achievement. For us as a family though, doing the fun run in honour of Grandfather on father’s day was even better. My Grandfather was a very charitable man with a big heart who would help those in need, whether they were a friend, family or a stranger. He did a lot of charity work and participated in fundraising events, he was a god sent. For my family to do something like this, is something that he would have done and that brought us a bit closer to him again.
Best advice for people looking to Shake It Up?
Although the drive to find a cure came from a personal experience, it doesn’t mean you always need a reason to help people. The satisfaction you get when making a contribution to help those in need, not because you have to, but because you know in your heart it the right thing to do, is unmatchable. The smallest acts of kindness when done by many makes a massive difference.
Find a fundraising event that you would like to participate in (they’re always happening). Do it by yourself or in a group, start up a fundraising page and spread the word about why you want to make a difference. Ask your friends and family for support by making any donation, just $5 can make a difference. If you let them know why it’s so important to you, they will donate because you’re connecting with them on a compassionate level.