Cowichan volleyball star running for Parkinson’s awareness, funding

Cause in honour of her grandfather the focus of athlete’s energy over 30 days

Running for Parkinson’s.

Running for Parkinson’s.

Chemainus volleyball player Danielle Groenendijk is putting her energy into a fundraising campaign.

With Groenendijk and her Vancouver Island University Mariners’ teammates idled for the season, she wanted to do something meaningful and a cause in honour of her grandfather seemed like the perfect thing.

“My grandpa was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago and I have seen the effect this disease can have on the individual, family and friends,” she noted. “To raise awareness to Parkinson’s in Canada, I am going to run 250 kilometres in 30 days.”

Groenendijk, a Duncan Christian School graduate, starts the epic effort on Saturday, Dec. 19 — a date that just happens to coincide with her grandfather’s birthday.

“What better day to start my fundraiser than his birthday?” she conceded.

A total of $635 had already been raised by Friday before Groenendijk started running.

“A large part of Parkinson’s disease is difficulty with movement which can make everyday activities harder,” she added. “Physical activity is also important for improving motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s. I hope to bring awareness to Parkinson’s and the struggles that come along with it.”

Groenendijk’s goal is to raise $7,500. That would work out to $30 per kilometre.

“Please consider joining me to make a difference in the lives of those affected with Parkinson’s disease,” she enthused.

Groenendijk is fundraising through Parkinson Canada and her fundraising page can be found at http://donate.parkinson.ca/goto/RunningforParkinsons.

She’s also created a personal page with more information about her fundraiser and to keep everyone updated on her progress. Her personal page is at: https://runningforparkinsons.weebly.com/

Groenendijk has been part of the three straight Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball titles with VIU.

Related story: Nothing set for Cowichan’s Groenendijks in volleyball due to COVID

The chance at a fourth straight title in early 2021 was dashed when the CCAA elected to cancel nationals. The hope for any season at all was later eliminated when the PacWest division also decided to cancel the season for the 2020-21 school year.

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Danielle Groenendijk and some of her Vancouver Island University teammates back in 2018. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk and some of her Vancouver Island University teammates back in 2018. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk and running mate Bo. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk and running mate Bo. (Photo submitted)