Each month, we spotlight an inspiring story from someone in our Victory Crew®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 John Davis from Rome, Georgia.
Which event did you participate in?
I rode in a mass virtual Everesting bicycle ride.
Why did you decide to join the crew?
When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the spring of 2017, I found that the information on the Davis Phinney Foundation website, and especially the Every Victory Counts® manual to be the most useful and relevant information available. I felt like I owed the Foundation a debt of gratitude for getting me off on the right foot!
What’s been your best memory as part of the Victory Crew?
The event itself is a bit of an unusual one. Everesting on a bicycle is accomplished by picking a hill or mountain and doing repeat rides to the top until a minimum of 8848 meters (the elevation of Mt. Everest’s summit) of climbing is accomplished. One way this can be done is virtually, using a smart trainer and a virtual cycling site called Zwift. The smart trainer exactly replicates the degree of difficulty of any climb – I and the other 85 riders who participated rode Zwift’s replication of the Tour de France’s Alpe d’Huez called “Alpe du Zwift.” I was one of the 35 riders who completed the challenge.
What challenges did you have while fundraising?
I think the biggest challenge was explaining how the “virtual” part of this event worked— even many cyclists were not familiar with how this worked. Most folks became intrigued once the details were made clear.
The second challenge was deciding which groups of people in my life I wanted to contact. Having been diagnosed relatively recently, I didn’t want this to be seen as some sort of mass announcement of my personal situation. Therefore, I wrote to potential donors in a way that sidestepped that issue. This gave me the option to inform only those people I chose to.
What are the most important actions you took that helped you reach your fundraising goal?
- I used Facebook, Instagram, Strava and work emails to get the word out about the mass virtual Everesting ride. I made the first mention of it three weeks before the event.
- I followed up with additional posts that included how I was preparing for the event, how and where to make a donation, details about the ride and information about the Davis Phinney Foundation.
- During the actual event, I took a screenshot every time I summited my ride info and sent it out on Facebook and Instagram, so donors could follow my progress.
- I followed up two days after the ride with a wrap-up message. If you’re curious, here’s a link to my Everesting ride.
What would you say to someone interested in joining the Crew?
I think that part of what made this fundraiser fun for me was finding a way to tie an activity I love (cycling) to an important effort (helping people with Parkinson’s). I found it very helpful to talk to people at the Davis Phinney Foundation’s Victory Crew. It was easier than I thought it would be to get started, and once I got started, the fundraiser gained its own momentum.
Do you have a Victory Crew or fundraising story you’d like to share?
Your story, like John’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences.
If you’re not yet part of the Victory Crew, but you’d like to join us in raising money to help people live well with Parkinson’s, learn how to get started here.