My name is Jacqueline McKay. I’m from Calgary, Canada but have lived in Brisbane, Australia for a year.
My dad Bill, was diagnosed with Parkinson disease 7 years ago. I still remember the moment I noticed. Dad had picked me up, and the vehicle was shaking as he was driving. We realized his foot was tremoring, causing it to bounce on and off the gas pedal. This was just the beginning of a long journey.
Despite his diagnosis, he has an amazing attitude. Whenever he is asked how he feels, he replies “I feel good!” Even as the tremors got worse, Dad continued to be upbeat and inspiring. He retired in December 2020 after 50 years of working as a land surveyor.
Back in Canada, my family, friends and I have been very active in the Parkinson’s community, participating in fundraisers such as Step n’ Stride. While I don’t live in Calgary anymore, this cause is near to my heart. I have been thinking of how I can fundraise from Australia, as many people close to Dad love to participate in these efforts with us.
That’s where the 4x4x48 challenge comes in!
On March 5, 2021 at 2 PM MT or March 6th, 2021 at 2 PM in AEST the challenge started virtually alongside David Goggins and other participants from around the world. David Goggins is a retired navy SEAL and put this challenge on to bring people together from all over the world for a common goal.
With this challenge, I will have run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours! My brother-in-law, Justin joining me here in Brisbane, Australia as well! And it gets better – we would walk the final mile virtually to the finish line with my Dad in Okotoks, Alberta. In this final mile we were joined virtually by other family and friends wanting to show their support.
This was ambitious and intense challenge, but those suffering from Parkinson’s have truly inspired me.
Those afflicted with Parkinson disease have to cope with symptoms every day that range from mild to severe. This can be very uncomfortable and frustrating, which is something I’ve seen firsthand. This 4x4x48 challenge may be uncomfortable, grueling, and hard at times, but I had my dad and others living with Parkinson disease in mind to push me to the finish line!
Something often highlighted in Parkinson disease research is the importance of exercise. In that spirit, I can’t think of a better way to challenge myself in support. I want to raise awareness about Parkinson’s in general as well as the importance of exercise in managing Parkinson’s symptoms.
If you would like to support this cause please do so by participating in the challenge, whether it’s a leg of the challenge, the final mile, donating, or sharing this post.