Each month, we spotlight an inspiring story from someone in our Team DPF® community who is helping to improve the quality of life of people living with Parkinson’s by raising funds. Today, we are happy to feature Richard Beattie from Greenwood, Mississippi.
Which event did you participate in?
I started fundraising for RAGBRAI in January 2019. I also co-founded and organized two cycling events and asked others doing the ride to raise money for Team DPF. The Greenwood Gravel Grind was in April, and Bikes, Blues & Bayous, the largest ride in Mississippi, was in August.
Why did you decide to join Team DPF?
I first learned about the Davis Phinney Foundation when I attended The Victory Summit® event in South Carolina in 2014. I was really impressed with the Foundation and staff; so, I put it in the back of my head that one day I’d get involved. I went through a lot between my diagnosis in 2014 and my decision to fundraise in 2019. It took me a long time to fully accept my diagnosis and deal with it in a public way. In addition, I was going through a big career transition and had other priorities to manage. When I finally realized that I didn’t want to hide from it anymore, I started sharing my story with people and felt inspired to begin using my bike for good. It was the best decision I could have made.
What’s been your best memory as part of Team DPF?
I don’t have one that stands out—there have been many—but overall I’ve just been so overwhelmed by the support I’ve received. When you own your situation and talk openly about it, I’ve found that people are more than happy to give their support. It’s surprising how easy it can be when you simply connect with people in a deep and personal way.
What are the most important actions you took that helped you reach your fundraising goal?
I think the best thing I did was to show my level of commitment. I told the people I asked that I’d match every dollar for the first $5000. Knowing that I was putting in a chunk of my own money showed them how committed I was and that inspired them to donate. That first round of asking gave me the confidence I needed to extend my circle. The more you ask, the easier it is. It simply takes practice, and you learn with each one.
The other thing that helped was that I wasn’t just raising money for myself. I was raising money for a foundation that had helped me so much on my journey with Parkinson’s. Helping me meant helping many others get the resources they need to live well with Parkinson’s.
What would you say to someone interested in joining Team DPF?
Resist the temptation not to be involved. The social interaction that comes from being part of a team leads to good health. The more involved you get, the more you see how much empathy people have. Get over the fear of asking for support and the temptation to withdraw. You can do something and when you do, you’ll reach and teach more people than you ever could have imagined.
Do you have a Team DPF or fundraising story you’d like to share?
Your story, like Richard’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences. Submit Your Team DPF Moments of Victory® Story now.
If you’re not yet part of Team DPF, but you’d like to join us in raising money to help people live well with Parkinson’s today, contact our team today to get started.