Danielle Groenendijk raised more than twice her goal for Parkinson’s Canada. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk raised more than twice her goal for Parkinson’s Canada. (Photo submitted)

VIU volleyball athlete doubles fundraising goal for Parkinson’s

Daily runs over 30 days by Groenendijk add up to 254 kilometres

Danielle Groenendijk doubled her fundraising goal for Parkinson’s disease in honour of her grandfather, John Kampman, after running 250 kilometres over 30 days.

As an added bonus, as if to justify the great support she received, the Chemainus woman is going to run a marathon Saturday just for good measure.

Related story: Vancouver Island volleyball star running for Parkinson’s awareness, funding

Groenendijk, 21, is a well-known volleyball star at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. With the busiest part of the season shut down due to COVID-19 in what would normally have been the lead-up to a shot at a fourth straight Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball title for VIU, and classes cut back to virtual, she decided to put her extra time to good use.

Groenendijk, who graduated from Duncan Christian School in 2017, went back to the school to assist up-and-coming volleyball players and then committed to doing her fundraising runs Dec. 19, 2020 to Jan. 17, 2021 during a time that’s traditionally not the best for weather.

“Honestly, it’s hard to put into words what I feel about the fundraiser,” said Groenendijk. “I doubled my original goal and some money is still coming in. I’m thankful for all the support I received.”

Family connections through farming, the DCS school community and volleyball accelerated as the campaign went along. The month, Groenendijk said, “it just flew by.”

Her longest daily run was 18 kilometres and the shortest five kilometres, averaging out to eight kilometres, and ended up covering a total of 254 km, mostly along back roads from the family farming compound on Mount Sicker Road and other rural roads.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Groenendijk. “I’m thankful my health and body held up. I’d say I stretched a bit more than I normally do.”

She had one snow day along the way and plenty of rainy days, but also some sun, particularly near the end.

“You just get warmed up and go back out there,” Groenendijk reasoned.

She got into such a routine she felt compelled to go again Jan. 18 after it was all over.

“I think I’ll go for a bike ride [Monday],” Groenendijk chuckled.

Volleyball practices for the VIU Mariners also started up that day, even though there won’t be a season, so her timing was impeccable to complete the runs.

But Saturday is still reserved for a grand finale 42 kilometres to Lake Cowichan along the Trans Canada Trail, back roads to her house, a loop of logging roads and then back home so dog Bo can join her for the finish.

Most of the money raised by Groenendijk came through her Parkinson Canada fundraising page but she also received some cash and cheques that she will forward to the organization.

Kampman was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago and is now in a care home. He saw Groenendijk play at the nationals last March but “his symptoms really accelerated in the past year,” she pointed out.

Kampman might not be able to fully comprehend what Groenendijk was motivated by him to do, but “I’m sure he’s proud of me,” she said.

Diseasefundraiserrunning

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

It’s a triumphant finish to 30 days of running for Danielle Groenendijk. (Photo submitted)

It’s a triumphant finish to 30 days of running for Danielle Groenendijk. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk and sidekick Bo enjoy a break from all that running. (Photo submitted)

Danielle Groenendijk and sidekick Bo enjoy a break from all that running. (Photo submitted)

Rural road running provided the perfect backdrop for Danielle Groenendijk’s fundraiser for Parkinson’s. (Submitted)

Rural road running provided the perfect backdrop for Danielle Groenendijk’s fundraiser for Parkinson’s. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Police presence in Chemainus in an actual building is limited to South Island Highway Patrol on Chemainus Road. (Photo by Pete Cavanaugh)
Petition calls for policing commitment in Chemainus to be honoured

Former detachment member leads the charge in making the municipality and RCMP accountable

Khowhemun Elementary is one of two Cowichan Valley schools that announced possible COVID-19 exposures last week. (Google Street View image)
Two Cowichan Valley schools announce possible COVID-19 exposures

Positive tests at Khowhemun, Quamichan; Superstore confirms more cases

Members of the 4-H Horse Club enjoy the annual horse camp at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds. (submitted)
Farm Credit Canada supports Cowichan 4-H club with cash

On the list of recipients is the Cowichan 4-H Horse Club out of Cobble Hill.

Flanked by CVOLC staff members Kevin van der Linden, Nate Boersen, Lisa Kellar and Neil Ellingson, Ryan Linehan receives his Student of the Month award from Rotary representatives Gregg Perry and Kim Barnard. 
(Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley Open Learning Collective ‘ambassador’ named Student of the Month

Ryan Linehan earns award for demonstrating natural leadership

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Most Read