Rowena’s Dad Inspired her to Make a Difference
Friday, 4th October 2019

Inspired by her Dad and creating a better future for those with Parkinson’s, our hero this week Rowena set out to complete 100km of running during the month of September. Rowena smashed her target and raised over $5,000 for Parkinson’s Research.

Why Shake It Up Australia?

I came across Clyde and Shake It Up whilst reading an article in the North Shore Times about my Dad’s neurologists Drs Cook and Silberstein. Clyde’s story immediately struck a cord. Both Clyde and Dad were diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their 40’s and both had young families. Clyde’s positivity, and determination to make a difference ensuring every cent goes directly towards research, plus his strategic partnering with the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research reinforced my decision to help.

What drives your commitment to finding a cure for Parkinson’s?

My Dad has suffered Parkinson’s for 30 years now and while it’s ultimately too late to help him I hope that one day soon there will be a cure so no person nor family has to live with this devastating disease. I hope my fundraising initiative will raise much needed funds for further research into better treatment and hopefully a cure.

Tell us how your month long challenge went.

During the month of September I challenged myself to run 100kms. I started running for fitness only a year and a half ago, and after achieving a few personal goals, I thought why not run and possibly give back. I have a healthy, able body so why not make the most of it! On 1st September (Father’s Day) I commenced my 100kms in 30 days running challenge. On average I ran 5 days a week for around 4-5kms each day. I finished off my 100kms on 30th September raising more than $5000 for Shake It Up.

Who supported you to complete the challenge?

My family were a huge support during my challenge. My husband (Mark), sister (Jill), brother (Brad), my nephew (Blake) all joined me on a few runs during the month, and my wonderful Mother was a constant support. My children (Max and Izzy) were also incredibly proud of me undertaking this challenge. I was overwhelmed by the generosity and encouragement from friends and family around the world and I received a steady stream of messages of support.

Rowena runs 100km for Parkinson's

What would you recommend to others looking to challenge themselves for Shake It Up?

Set yourself a personal challenge, something you enjoy, push yourself a bit further and just do it. While undertaking your challenge you can raise awareness and much needed funds for Shake It Up. The whole experience for me was tremendously rewarding.