Our heroes this week are the West Family, who committed to move every day for the month of April as part of Pause 4 Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s Awareness Month. This open-ended challenge meant that everyone in the family could get involved and the team smashed their fundraising goal, raising $3,910, thanks to generous family and friends.
We spoke with Tania West to hear more about her family’s motivation to fundraise for Parkinson’s. Have a read of their emotive story below.
What drives your commitment to a cure for Parkinson’s?
The drive to help find a cure for Parkinsons has been my family’s own journey and pain of watching our wonderful Dad and Husband decline with the disease. It is, as I say, ‘the heartbreak of our lives’ as you slowly watch the very simple things we take for granted like walking, eating, talking, being taken away and the one who was once strong and capable of anything struggle with those simple things…
The disease slowly progresses then rapidly declines. Dad was officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s Plus Syndrome in 2019, but has been suffering the disease for much longer, but was never diagnosed and often seen as a ‘mystery case’. The treatments for Parkinson’s are not a ‘one size fits all’ and many hindered rather than helped Dad.
We would like to see more medical research to work on prevention, diagnosis, disease management and quality of life. We hope that awareness and funds help to put more focus on these areas to help people with Parkinson’s and the families that love them.
What did you do to fundraise and make a difference?
The family committed to ‘move every day ‘ – walk, run, row, skip, dance – for the month of April.
What advice do you have for others wanting to fundraise?
We are fortunate that we have many people in our personal and professional lives that support us and have been incredibly generous. For us it was a personal story of which many knew about, so they jumped on board. I think it depends on the situation on how you fundraise and what you do, we used many channels, from friendship/family groups to work charity communities and professional networks.
Could you challenge yourself to move every day and raise funds for Parkinson’s? We need your help to raise awareness about Parkinson’s and vital funds for research towards a cure. Find out how you can get involved today.