This week our Shake It Up Hero is Lillace Kenta. Lillace ran in the City2Surf raising over $3700 for Shake It Up! Read about what inspires her to raise awareness about Parkinson’s.
What Drives Your Commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s?
My dad and my mum are my inspiration. My dad lived with Parkinson’s for 21 years and in the last years, which were extremely hard, my mum became not just his wife and life long love, but also his carer. It took a huge toll on both of them and losing my dad in March this year really brought home to me how important it was to not only find a cure for Parkinson’s but raise people’s awareness about it and those living with it. My hope is that one day no one loses a loved one to Parkinson’s.
Why Shake It Up Australia?
It’s really important to me and mum to know that all funds raised go directly to research into finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. And also knowing that important research is happening right here in Australia. Dad donated his body to medical research and I know that Shake It Up Australia is in line with his values.
Tell us what you are doing to Shake Things Up?
When dad died I knew I needed to find a way to honour his memory and to me that’s in running. When I run I find a quiet space inside where I am grateful for the miracle that is the human body and it’s ability to function – and I am reminded not to take it for granted. The City2Surf was a way to use that focus to raise funds for important research. It also gave me a voice to start speaking about my experience as the daughter of someone who had Parkinson’s and to begin raising awareness amongst my peers, colleagues and friends.
I have a fairly diverse, international network and it was amazing to know that so many people, even those on the other side of the world, were willing to get behind me and help make a difference. (Also apparently telling people you will run with a fish on your head wins extra votes – hence the crazy photo.) And the day itself was brilliant. Seeing so many other people out there committing to making a difference, raising money and awareness for things that matter to them, really hit home.
Best advice for people looking to Shake It Up?
Start the conversation today – you’ll be amazed where it leads you.