Why did you decide to join Team DPF?
I have served as an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation for four years. When I made the decision to sign up for the Triathlon, it was only fitting to use it as a platform to raise both awareness about the Foundation but also raise funds to support the great work they do for the Parkinson’s Community. It has been four years since I last did this event. It was particularly gratifying to finish it less than four months after my most recent DBS surgery.
What was your best memory from the training or event?
I trained for the swim portion at a local YMCA using their 25-year pool. I was able to complete the 250-yard swim easily at that distance. The actual event used a 50-yard Olympic-sized pool. That longer distance was a bit of a psychological challenge since I was accustomed to having a short break after each 25-yard length. However, just as in dealing with Parkinson’s on a daily basis, one must get used to tackling the unexpected and persevering to complete each task that comes our way.
The bike ride was fun, but I did have to shift down to my “Little Engine That Could” gear to complete the ascent of the final hill – one pedal stroke after the other. I was thrilled to have my UF Physical Therapist, Meredith DeFranco, join me for the one-mile run. While I walk that portion (since I’m not a runner), I did pick up the pace for the last 50 yards and proudly thrust my arms skyward in a Victory Salute as I crossed the finish line. For me, this was a Victory that truly counted.
What were the biggest fundraising challenges you faced?
It can be difficult to go “back to the well” to ask friends or family members who have made contributions to previous campaigns to donate again. However, I’ve learned that people are glad to support great programs like the Davis Phinney Foundation, and to support those who are doing their personal best to “Live Well Today.”
What are the top actions you took that helped you reach your fundraising goals?
I posted my personal page on both Facebook and Twitter. It was helpful to repost that weekly to remind people to donate. Many people placed “Likes” on that post, so I followed up with direct messages through Facebook to serve as reminders. Lastly, I made direct contact by phone or e-mail to other potential donors who I may not have reached through social media.
What would you say to someone interested in joining Team DPF?
I’ve learned that people are very willing to donate and are grateful to be asked to support a worthy cause. Parkinson’s affects many people, so it is not unusual to learn that a donor has a personal connection to this condition through a friend or family member impacted by it.
John Alexander is a long-time Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassadors. Our Ambassadors are "living well leaders" who share resources and information throughout their local and regional communities to help people take action and improve their quality of life with Parkinson’s. Connect with one of our Ambassadors and begin your journey today of living well with Parkinson’s!
SHARE YOUR VICTORY
Each month, we spotlight someone from our Team DPF community who embodies living well today – what we call Moments of Victory®.
Your story, like John’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences and victories.