Danielle Groenendijk raised more than twice her goal for Parkinson’s Canada. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk raised more than twice her goal for Parkinson’s Canada. (Photo submitted)

VIU volleyball athlete doubles fundraising goal for Parkinson’s

Daily runs over 30 days by Groenendijk add up to 254 kilometres

Danielle Groenendijk doubled her fundraising goal for Parkinson’s disease in honour of her grandfather, John Kampman, after running 250 kilometres over 30 days.

As an added bonus, as if to justify the great support she received, the Chemainus woman is going to run a marathon Saturday just for good measure.

Related story: Vancouver Island volleyball star running for Parkinson’s awareness, funding

Groenendijk, 21, is a well-known volleyball star at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. With the busiest part of the season shut down due to COVID-19 in what would normally have been the lead-up to a shot at a fourth straight Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball title for VIU, and classes cut back to virtual, she decided to put her extra time to good use.

Groenendijk, who graduated from Duncan Christian School in 2017, went back to the school to assist up-and-coming volleyball players and then committed to doing her fundraising runs Dec. 19, 2020 to Jan. 17, 2021 during a time that’s traditionally not the best for weather.

“Honestly, it’s hard to put into words what I feel about the fundraiser,” said Groenendijk. “I doubled my original goal and some money is still coming in. I’m thankful for all the support I received.”

Family connections through farming, the DCS school community and volleyball accelerated as the campaign went along. The month, Groenendijk said, “it just flew by.”

Her longest daily run was 18 kilometres and the shortest five kilometres, averaging out to eight kilometres, and ended up covering a total of 254 km, mostly along back roads from the family farming compound on Mount Sicker Road and other rural roads.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Groenendijk. “I’m thankful my health and body held up. I’d say I stretched a bit more than I normally do.”

She had one snow day along the way and plenty of rainy days, but also some sun, particularly near the end.

“You just get warmed up and go back out there,” Groenendijk reasoned.

She got into such a routine she felt compelled to go again Jan. 18 after it was all over.

“I think I’ll go for a bike ride [Monday],” Groenendijk chuckled.

Volleyball practices for the VIU Mariners also started up that day, even though there won’t be a season, so her timing was impeccable to complete the runs.

But Saturday is still reserved for a grand finale 42 kilometres to Lake Cowichan along the Trans Canada Trail, back roads to her house, a loop of logging roads and then back home so dog Bo can join her for the finish.

Most of the money raised by Groenendijk came through her Parkinson Canada fundraising page but she also received some cash and cheques that she will forward to the organization.

Kampman was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago and is now in a care home. He saw Groenendijk play at the nationals last March but “his symptoms really accelerated in the past year,” she pointed out.

Kampman might not be able to fully comprehend what Groenendijk was motivated by him to do, but “I’m sure he’s proud of me,” she said.

Diseasefundraiserrunning

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

It’s a triumphant finish to 30 days of running for Danielle Groenendijk. (Photo submitted)

It’s a triumphant finish to 30 days of running for Danielle Groenendijk. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk and sidekick Bo enjoy a break from all that running. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk and sidekick Bo enjoy a break from all that running. (Photo submitted)

Rural road running provided the perfect backdrop for Danielle Groenendijk’s fundraiser for Parkinson’s. (Submitted)

Rural road running provided the perfect backdrop for Danielle Groenendijk’s fundraiser for Parkinson’s. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Pedestrians have rights to use highways

A highway is not the exclusive domain of drivers.

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has stepped up, in spite of COVID, for a number of charities. (Submitted)
Sahtlam firefighters step up

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has a long history of supporting charities

A mobile home fire prompted a quick response from firefighters Saturday around 3:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Mobile home up in flames at Duncan RV Park

One patient burned, EHS on scene

Phaecelia used as a cover crop attracts bees and provides them with high quality nectar. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Cover crops keep soil healthy and productive

We don’t harvest a cover crop and instead dig the tops under when they’re immature and soft

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Home is where you know your neighbours

My mom has lived at that address for 43 years.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read