To say that Matt Mitchell is driven to make a difference is an understatement. I met Matt in 2011 when we asked him to be a part of The Team Fox Mentor Network. Since that moment, I know there is not a day that goes by that Matt is not doing something to help make Team Fox a success. Whether he is training for a race, helping a fellow Team Fox member or just posting inspiring quotes on Facebook, Matt's passion to help others is infectious. I feel lucky to have him on our team. Check out his latest blog post from Helsinki, Finland, where he is not only studying for a Master's Degree but also rallying his classmates to get involved in funding a cure for Parkinson's research.
2012 has been a year of change, and challenge.
This fall I moved from Vancouver, Canada, to Helsinki, Finland, to do my Masterís in Media and Global Communication. After finding my bearings in a new city, and being back in school for the first time in a decade, I quickly became invigorated by the new opportunities and possibilities that being submerged within a new culture provided. Throughout this dynamic time, Iíve run. Itís at the heart of my engagement with Team Fox, and has become a driving force in my life.
One day at school I was talking about how I was training for my next marathon for Team Fox, as I so often do, and my new friends immediately took an interest and wanted to contribute. I was bowled over by their enthusiasm and by the end of the conversation we had built a strategy for fundraisers in Helsinki, and for spreading the word about the important work of The Michael J. Fox Foundation through the school and the local media.
This small group of students and faculty at the University of Helsinki have become more connected and unified through Team Fox. Though we are in Helsinki and are from the UK, China, Russia, Switzerland, Finland and Canada, weíre in this fight together. It is inspiring to see how we are growing every day, even on an international scale, and as I rigorously train for my next marathon, my fourth for MJFF, it only motivates me further to redefine what is possible.
I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to help build the Team Fox community here in Finland where over 10,000 people live with Parkinson's disease and where there is so much that can be done to inform and cultivate new relationships. Through this I am reminded that our fight for a cure has global significance and the results of our collective work know no boundaries, geographically or otherwise. We are all working for a world without PD.