Our hero this week is Robyn who donates a percentage of each of her paintings in memory of her Mum who passed away with Parkinson’s. Robyn never dreamed that when she started taking painting lessons all those years ago that people would buy her art. This is Robyn’s way of giving back and honouring her Mum.
What Drives Your Commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s?
My Mum, Marie Maunder, was diagnosed at 57 with Parkinson’s disease (also with probable lewy bodies) and two Uncles later in life. I was witness to mum’s painful struggle with the disease and my step dad Graham coping as best as he could with her care. She had such difficulty with getting medication right and lots of complications and depression. It was so tragic to watch her life being taken brain cell by brain cell. She passed away 24/7/2008 at age 70, so her 10 year anniversary is coming up. It has taken me that long to take action as it is still to this day very hard to think about her without getting emotional.
Why Shake It Up Australia?
I researched charities and found Shake It Up Australia which doesn’t take any administration fees from donations which I liked, that it was in Australia and that it was affiliated with Michael J Fox Foundation.
Tell us what you are doing/have done to Shake Things Up?
I have been donating 10% of my profit from my artwork sales. I joined a website (https://bluethumb.com.au/robyn-gray ) on new years eve 31st December 2016 and was most surprised to start selling my paintings immediately. In August I did some soul searching and thought how I could show my gratitude meaningfully and I made the decision to donate to a Parkinson’s charity and decided on Shake It Up Australia and backdated my donations to my first sale. I have since made two more donations from continuing sales and commissions and will continue. Years ago when I began taking painting lessons I had the idea but never dreamed People would buy my art. This is my way of giving back my gratitude and to honour mum.
Greatest Reward in being involved?
Greatest reward is to feel like I am contributing to looking for a cure.
Best advice for people looking to Shake It Up?
Best advice is to do any small thing, when you are ready, in your own time to face the facts of the disease and do something positive instead of letting Parkinson’s win.
Get Involved this April for World Parkinson’s Day and help us find a cure for Parkinson’s. Register to host an event for Pause 4 Parkinson’s.