Jessica Utumapu is our Shake it up Hero of the week, we asked her some questions to find out what drives her to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
Why Shake It Up Australia?
About a year ago I saw a story on “Sunday Night” that featured Clyde Campbell and Michael J. Fox regarding finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Because of my mums condition, this story resonated with me and I was inspired by Clyde’s efforts. When I decided earlier this year that I wanted to take action and make a difference I couldn’t go past Clyde’s creation, the Shake It Up Australia Foundation. I was impressed that due to the Founding Directors covering general administration costs, 100% of all funds donated to Shake It Up Australia Foundation go directly to research within Australia to find a cure for Parkinson’s. It really was an easy choice!
What drives your commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s?
First and foremostly I am driven by seeing the challenges that my mum faces due to Parkinson’s Disease.
Further to this, whilst organising the “Shaking Hands for Parkinson’s” group, I have met more people who either have Parkinson’s or have a loved one with Parkinson’s. Seeing and hearing the impact that Parkinson’s Disease has on my mum and other families lives make the moments of feeling overwhelmed of what I have set out to do disappear and gives me the drive to continue making a difference.
Tell us what you’re doing to Shake Things up?
We have created a team that will run/walk the City to Surf on 11 August 2013. The team will raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Parkinson’s.
We have already had great support from my daughters Day Care, My Stepping Stones in Leichhardt who are encouraging the children and parents to get involved. Further to this Sydney City Toyota have generously donated buses to transport some of the team to and from the City to Surf.
We are also organising some Women’s Group Fitness sessions in conjunction with Lean Mumma Leichhardt who are donating their time in order to raise money and awareness.
We won’t stop there though! I am looking into other opportunities to help us reach our goal and also speaking with other businesses regarding donated items/services that can be raffled.
What’s your goal
I created the “Shaking Hands for Parkinson’s” group to start conversations with others and introduce them to Parkinson’s Disease to raise awareness and funds to find a cure. Not only this, but my hope is that by starting conversations, we meet other families touched by Parkinson’s and together we can feel supported knowing that we are not battling this disease alone.
“Greatness comes from taking risks”