Shake It Up Hero – Courtney

courtneyThis week’s Shake It Up Hero is a hero on two fronts – as a researcher and through his fundraising efforts he is at the forefront of the quest for better treatments and ultimately a cure.

1. What Drives Your Commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s?

I am currently completing my PhD under the supervision of Professor Simon Lewis at the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney. I am conducting research into the clinical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, with a focus on cognitive decline and freezing of gait. Over the past 3 years I have been running cognitive training groups along with working in our PD clinic, and I have learnt so much from our fantastic patients. I have had hundreds of conversations with them about the problems they face every day, and I am hopeful that the research being conducted here and around Australia can help ease these difficulties in the short term, and eventually find a cure.

2. Why Shake It Up Australia?

100% of funding supports crucial Parkinson’s research, and the partnership with the Michael J Fox Foundation is great.

3. Tell us what you are doing to Shake Things Up?

In January I took up cycling, and in March I set myself the goal of cycling 6000kms by then end of the year. I have been asking people to donate to Shake It Up as I try to achieve this goal. Currently I’m over half way, and loving it. I have had a couple of competitive races, and have signed up for 3 major long distance events throughout the year including a daunting 210km ride featuring 4000m of climbing! So far, I’ve raised over $2,000 and I hope to make it $3,000 by December. If you would like to make a donation, you can visit my fundraising page at

4. Greatest Reward?

Operating in the research environment, I know how much these donations count towards getting important work funded. It is rewarding to know that through encouraging the generous donations of others, we have helped contribute to these projects getting underway.

5. Best advice for people looking to Shake It Up?

Just pick something and go for it! Most people will always be happy to donate if you have put in the work and it’s for a good cause.

Are you interested in becoming a Shake It Up Hero through your own fundraising initiative? Find out how you can get involved and help us shake things up for a cure!