Survivor making a difference: Brooke, Phil, and Aiden’s Parkinson’s Journey

This year our grassroots fundraising initiative, Survivor Season 26 raised over $52,000 to aid in improving awareness, research and support for people with Parkinson’s. When we consider the fund recipient of Survivor we look to our SAVVY community and members to see if we can make a difference with a deeper connection. Brooke Bate is a long term SAVVY team member who has been involved with Survivor since the very beginning. Brooke has significantly contributed to its success and ongoing success in all aspects of the event. Brooke is a much loved, well respected team member that has influenced positive changes in our members health and fitness for over 16 years in her time with us as a trainer.

Ten years ago Brooke’s Dad, Phil Ostwald was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and not long after her uncle Aiden Beath received the same diagnosis. Brooke has witnessed the effects of Parkinson’s disease watching both her Dad and Uncle navigate this neurological disorder that affects movement, causing tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.

Brooke knows first hand that living with Parkinson’s disease is a daily challenge, both physically and emotionally. For Phil, Aiden and their families this journey has been one of frustration but also of resilience and determination. Phil was a competitive athlete and coach all his life so the limitations imposed by Parkinson’s has been a difficult transition although he continues to project a very positive attitude towards the challenges he faces. This year Phil lost his wife, Toni to cancer, for Phil, Brooke and family this time of deep grieving has been made heavier with the added worries and stresses of now knowing that Phil will battle the progressive effects of Parkinson’s on his own without his partner in life.

In response to Phil and Aiden’s battle with Parkinson’s and the many SAVVY members that join us for Parkinson’s movement therapy every week, our community has rallied around them. Survivor has garnered great support.

Survivor is not just about fundraising, it is a testament to the power of collective action and the impact we can have on our own community. The $52,040 raised reflects a milestone of generosity and this will be instrumental in making a difference with Parkinson’s research, and support but also letting those who are living with Parkinson’s know that their struggles are acknowledged and that they are not alone in this journey.

Phil acknowledged the importance of community support in the face of adversity and how these funds raised can also act as a source of emotional strength. For those living with Parkinson’s, it may be a part of their life, but it does not define who they are. Together, we have shown that a community can make a difference and at SAVVY we deliver specific Parkinson’s programs that assist Individuals navigating the intricacies of Parkinson’s Disease. Our programs are delivered by our clinical team of passionate physiotherapists and crafted to maximise mobility and vigour. There have been very noticeable and measured successful outcomes from these programs.

Survivor continues to highlight the transformative power of community, demonstrating that when people come together with a common goal, they can make a significant impact.

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