Last summer, Mary Greenlaw-Meyer asked her younger sister Sarah if she wanted to take part in a month-long fitness challenge. Sarah was game, and thus began their first foray into Team DPF, Davis Phinney Foundation’s grassroots fundraising community, and the first-ever Every Victory Counts Challenge (EVCC). This summer, the Greenlaw sisters are back at it, and this year they’re making headlines as some of the event’s top fundraisers.
“I’m so proud to be part of this fundraiser, which I’m doing for my amazing sister.She is smart, wise, kind, and generous. She was a teacher for 34 years, and she is beloved by so many. She has a huge following of people who adore her, thus her amazing fundraising!”
– Sarah Greenlaw
Mary, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s the fall after she retired (some retirement gift!), is a leader in her Madison, Wisconsin, Parkinson’s community. “She knows more about Parkinson’s than her doctors,” Sarah says, “and she is loved by everyone who encounters her. She just has that magic.”
“In Madison, Mary is a regular at Rock Steady Boxing and several Parkinson’s groups. She boxes, works out, and spins/bikes every day. She takes speech lessons and does research non-stop. And I’ll be damned if I don’t walk this Parkinson’s journey with her.”
During this July’s EVCC event, Mary is not only hitting the gym every day but cycling quite a bit as well. “Her challenge is to bike every day, because Davis Phinney was a biker,” Sarah says. “She lives at the top of a killer hill, and every day, she pedals up that hill.”
Although Mary and Sarah have both been lifelong exercisers, Sarah started this summer with a broken rib and stress fracture in her foot. When determining her own goals for the EVCC, she decided to be safe and declared her challenge to be at least one hour of swimming, biking, or walking each day.
Mary said that her personal motto for the summer is the ‘Summer of Healing.” She’s doing great! She’s out of the boot and slowly doing some walking on pavement, not just earthen trails. She’s putting in close to two hours a day, and last week she averaged 2.5 hours each day.
Last year, Sarah and Mary put their full focus on fitness goals during the EVCC. This year, they decided to jump into the fundraising side of the event as well. Doing so has added a new dimension and a palpable sense of competition to the challenge, Sarah says. “Fundraising definitely put ‘skin in the game’ for me. For a while, I was stuck at $900 and was really frustrated. Then I finally got to $1000 and upped my goal to $1200.”
The fundraising highlight for Sarah was a $250 donation from an old friend. “It came in right away, maybe the first or second donation,” she says. “It meant so much to me!”
Sarah says that the most meaningful part of the challenge for her, other than supporting and spending time with Mary, is that she is helping raise funds for Parkinson’s. “And Mary knows her stuff,” she says. “If she says this gig is good, it is. The Davis Phinney Foundation does such good work.”
Seeing Mary’s own outstanding fundraising has kept Sarah motivated as well.
“Donations have poured in from so many people,” Sarah says. “Her amazing fundraising is a testament to how much she is loved.”
Want to learn more?
For more information about the Every Victory Counts Challenge and how you can get involved, visit the event page here.