Evan Cutler is the founder of The Cutler Foundation and creator of the 10.10.10 Challenge in honor of his father, Keith Cutler.
As a little kid, I remember my grandfather had a condition that made his hand shake. We knew he had Parkinson's disease (PD), but didn't talk about it. Fast forward to 2002, my parents advised my wife and me over the phone, "Dad has Parkinson's disease." We had many questions: what does this mean, what are the symptoms, what happens next?
Parkinson's affects people differently, which is one of its challenges. My parents were strong, ready to take on this journey together and push forward with grace and a positive attitude. At first, Dad's symptoms were minimal -- mainly shuffling gait and lack of arm swing. When his Parkinson's became more apparent, depression began to kick in. However, pulling the sheets over his head and staying in bed was not an option. My parents got involved with Parkinson's support groups and Dad, who always stood out as a leader in business and the community, led their local chapter.
Eventually, the progression of his symptoms resulted in further isolation and depression, as he became increasingly dependent on Mom. She willingly picked up the slack, somehow holding it together. The role of caregiver can be tough -- but these are tough people! My parents' strength, hope and selflessness inspired me every day and I felt the need to inspire them, too. But how?
On June 23, 2015, I came up with a simple idea: complete 100 push-ups every day for the rest of my life. Could I get to 1 million? I posted my progress on social media, attracting attention from family and friends around the world. The daily commitment helped me cope with the stress of my family's situation and channel it into something positive, which made my parents very happy. We all kept pushing!
Exactly two years later on June 23, 2017, Dad's Parkinson's journey ended at the young age of 74. Right then, I knew I had to do more for others. My son's quick math determined that if I continue every day until I am 74 years old, I would reach 1 million push-ups! This epiphany eventually led to the establishment of The Cutler Foundation and the 10.10.10 Push-Ups 4 Parkinson's Challenge.
Today, we're engaging the PD community to help raise awareness and funds for local, national and worldwide Parkinson's organizations, including Team Fox. If I can do 1 million push-ups -- and I will -- the rest of the world can do 100 million and raise $100 million!
To accept the 10.10.10 Challenge follow these four easy steps:
- DO 10 push-ups and post online using #My101010 #GoTeamFox
- TAG 10 friends and challenge them to accept
- GIVE $10 at My101010.org or PushUps4Parkinsons.org
- Include these instructions in your post
Once you complete the challenge, stay tuned for future challenges as we push-up and push forward together!