There are many unique ways that people raise money and awareness for charitable causes but not many as unique as what Quinn McGennisken is embarking on this Sunday for FightMND.
Quinn is part of Team FightMND in Run Melbourne this weekend and will be running the half-marathon distance of 21.1km with bare feet.
She has raised over $3,000.
An experienced runner, Quinn says that sometimes running can be a “bit boring” and the idea to run bare foot was suggested by a friend and running partner, who has also done some bare foot running in the past, and told Quinn to “give it a go”.
“I’ve done Run Melbourne twice before, not fundraised just ran it, but both times in shoes,” Quinn laughed.
“I’ve only ever done one 5km event without shoes before so it will be interesting to see if I can hold up for the 21km.”
Quinn has been fundraising and will be running in memory of her cousin Gordon, or ‘Jimmy’ as he was affectionately known, who lost his brief battle with MND in July 2016 at the age of 74.
“It became a more prominent focus in our family when he was diagnosed and it took him pretty quickly unfortunately so that is why I am motivated to help the cause,” Quinn said.
“He progressed really rapidly, he went from really high-functioning to not being able to do this and do that before he went to palliative care stage during his relatively brief battle,” Quinn recalled of her cousins decline.
Although having previously done some work experience at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne when she was younger and seeing research into MND first-hand, Quinn said having a personal family connection to MND is the key influencer to wanting to help the fight against MND and fundraising to help find a treatment and cure for the disease.
“It gives you more incentive and makes it more meaningful. It’s always good to do it for a reason.
“I think sometimes running can seem a little monotonous and pointless, so when you’ve got a motivator like raising money for a great cause and the fact I am doing it bare foot has also gained a bit of interest and people are more inclined to sponsor you and are keen to see if you can get there,” Quinn added.
Having experienced watching a family member suffer the devastation of MND first-hand and how the disease terrorises the body, Quinn cites the challenge of running bare foot as nothing compared to what MND sufferers endure.
“People say why would you (run bare foot), it’s just ridiculous and I just say that an hour and a half running with bare feet as opposed to what Jimmy went through and what others with MND go through just puts things into perspective and what I am doing is really nothing in the whole scheme of things,” Quinn added.
“Jimmy’s family and friends have sponsored me and say they feel like there is a lot more reason to be involved with it (raising money for FightMND) and to get behind it and it keeps that connection to the cause going and we’ll keep supporting in his honour for a long time to come.
You can support and donate to Team FightMND for Sunday’s Run Melbourne event here: https://runmelbourne2019.everydayhero.com/au/team-fightmnd-