This week’s heroes have set a very unique challenge for themselves! Owen and Sandra Turner, along with their daughters Mikaela and Kiera and Kiera’s partner Elijah, have challenge themselves to ice skate the same distance as a National Hockey League player does in an entire season, in just 3 months! That’s a huge 660km!
They’ve already reached halfway on their skating goal and smashed their fundraising goal, raising $3,110 already! We spoke with Kiera about the challenge and learned more about the team.
What drives your commitment to a cure for Parkinson’s?
For me it’s so important to see a cure for Parkinson’s to ensure that other families do not have to experience what we are likely to face. Whilst we are being quite positive about the diagnosis, it was still such a shock to hear that dad had Parkinson’s.
A cure would change the lives for so many, so we are committed to raising as much money as we can for the Shake It Up Foundation through our challenges. Something that will likely now become an annual tradition for our family!
What are you doing to ‘shake things up’?
We decided to shake things up by committing ourselves to an ice skating challenge. It is something we as a family haven’t seen anyone do before and something that has always been a part of our lives. Mum and dad met while ice skating, dad always played hockey and mum was a figure skater. Myself and my sister of course played hockey as kids with dad as our coach. We decided we really needed to go for it to make it worth the money people were donating. So, we picked the target of, as a team, skating the same distance as an NHL player would in a season, in just 3 months. We are using clickers to count our laps with each lap working out to be approximately 125m. We are mostly averaging 80-100 laps each night we skate.
It has certainly been challenging as we are ice skating at general sessions, sharing the ice and skating much more than we usually ever would, it’s been a workout and we have all certainly noticed our fitness improving!
What advice do you have for others looking to make a difference?
Firstly, Just get started! I had seen the challenge on the website and just decided to call up dad and suggest it. As soon as I made that call everybody was on board! I set the fundraising goal to $500 thinking that was a very decent amount, and as soon as we began spreading the word we had beat that goal in the first 3 hours, and have almost reached 6 times that amount now close to our halfway point of the challenge. We have been utterly astonished by the generosity of people and their eagerness to support the cause. So I’m sure that you will be too.
Secondly, pick something that you enjoy. We have had so much fun as a family getting back out onto the ice, practising old skating tricks as well doing our laps. It has been the best experience being with dad and the family doing something we all love!
Owen also shared what it means to have Parkinson’s for him…
For me, I am concerned that because the progression can be slow in some cases, Parkinson’s often isn’t seen as serious. Well it is. Even before you are diagnosed, most people have already lost 75% of the cells in the brain that produce the all-important dopamine that helps control movement and support cognition. It can be a long and difficult journey to cope with the myriad of symptoms that present along the way, taking your vigour, communication, coordination and cognition – and the end stages are every bit as confronting as any other degenerative neurological disorder.
We need research to help diagnose it earlier so treatment can begin in time to protect individual lifestyles as long as possible, but most of all we need a cure to relieve the years, and often decades, of disability and distress Parkinson’s visits on sufferers and their families.
Meet our Team – Shake-off Face-off
Owen Turner – Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease
- Played Ice Hockey as a teen and has coached and played as an adult
- The fastest and most skilled skater of the team by far!
- Likes to show-off
- Was a figure skater as a teenager
- Skated at the first ever session at Macquarie Ice Rink
- Gave Ice Hockey a go as an adult (played while using her figure skates!)
- Hasn’t skated in 10 years but ready to get back into it a rack up those km’s
- Played Ice Hockey as a child
- Primary school teacher looking after Kindy kids – this means she has the patience to get this done!
- Has a fresh pair of Hockey skates to take on the challenge
- Played Ice Hockey as a child and teen and currently playing for the Sydney Bears
- Set the goal of 660km and determined to keep the team moving
- Hoping not to fall over too many times during the challenge
- Kiera’s partner
- Has skated approximately 5 times in his life prior to this challenge
- Has been roped in but being a good sport and getting involved
You can follow the Shake Off Face Off challenge on Facebook and donate to their fundraising page.
Challenging yourself for Parkinson’s is a great way to raise funds and spread awareness about Parkinson’s. Find out more about how you can get involved today.