An accomplished Chemainus athlete is on a fundraising mission for a cause close to her heart.
Danielle Groenendijk is a star on the volleyball court with the Vancouver Island University Mariners but like many athletes, the pandemic has put the brakes on her 2021 season.
“We were practicing up until middle of November and then with numbers rising and just everything we decided to take a little bit of a break,” says Groenendijk.
Instead of sitting on the couch Danielle hatched a plan. She would run 250 kilometres in 30 days to raise funds for Parkinson Canada.
“My grandpa he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a couple of years ago and being an athlete I didn’t run much before this but I always kind of enjoyed running an had always thought about it,” says Groenendijk. “Especially with Parkinson’s being significantly a motor symptom disease it really touched my heart.”
“I was very proud of her for initiating and for coming up with the cause seeing that my dad is the one that is affected by it,” says Danielle’s mom Henrietta.
With the help of her dog and running buddy Bo Danielle’s journey started on Dec. 19, which was her grandpa’s birthday.
“I thought it was the perfect time to do it and I had a little break from school and as well as volleyball,” says Groenendijk.
So far she’s raised nearly $10,000 and the donations continue to roll in.
“It’s kind of crazy all the support I’ve received both financially and all the encouraging words that I have received both from family and friends,” smiles Groenendijk.
I knew that she’d be able to strum up the support and it’s obvious so far that she’s already surpassed her goal and that just shows the type of person that she is and her dedication to supporting the people that she loves,” says Groenendijk’s high school coach Tom Veenstra.