Skip to main content

Four Open-Ocean Rowers Embark On 2,800 Mile Cross-Pacific Journey for The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Inspire “Summer Challenge” with an Unprecedented 3:1 Donation Match

  • Everyone is invited to cheer on the four-man “Team Human Powered Potential” and join the Foundation’s “Summer Challenge” to help meet our goal of raising a record $28 million for Parkinson’s disease research in a single summer 

  • Thanks to an anonymous donor, all contributions to the team and to the Summer Challenge will be matched three-to-one through August 31 

  • To learn more, visit  

NEW YORK (June 5, 2024) — This week, four endurance athletes dubbing themselves “Team Human Powered Potential” will embark on a 2,800-mile row from Monterey Bay, California, to Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii, with the goal of raising $28 million to benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). The launch of their epic feat also kicks off the Foundation’s “Summer Challenge,” a worldwide campaign open to everyone and aimed at supporting the rowers to help them meet their fundraising goal through an unprecedented three-to-one donation match.  

Team Human Powered Potential (HPP) is one of 11 teams participating in The World’s Toughest Row. The four athletes will row 24 hours a day — in intervals of two hours on, two hours off — with the goal of arriving in Kauai in under 40 days. This goal is made all the more ambitious by the makeup of the team, which includes one member living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Patrick Morrissey, 53, of Durango, Colorado, was diagnosed with PD in 2019. He will test his physical strength and the limits of his endurance alongside his friends and fellow rowers Brendan Cusick, Peter Durso and Scott Forman. If the team is successful, Morrissey will become the first person with Parkinson’s to row across the Pacific.  

Following the Pacific journey through video diary footage and regular updates from the team’s coach, who will stay in touch with the rowers via satellite phone, the Foundation will update the worldwide Parkinson’s community on Team HPP’s real-time progress and challenges along the way. 

“I hope I am an inspiration to others,” says Morrissey. “I will be the first person to row across the Pacific with Parkinson’s and that accomplishment will help the Parkinson’s community understand that we can do anything, together.” 

Join the #MJFFSummerChallenge 

Team HPP’s 2,800-mile journey is the inspiration behind The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s $28-million “Summer Challenge” aiming to raise record funds for Parkinson’s research over the course of a single summer. Every dollar raised by the rowers and by fundraisers across the globe participating in the Summer Challenge now through August 31 will be amplified by a stunning three-to-one match. Every $1 raised equals $4, every $25 equals $100, every $100 equals $400, and so on. 
Summer Match participants can register their rowing, swimming, cycling, running or walking event and fundraising goal at today. On the weekend of July 19-21, as the rowers near their finish line, Summer Match participants will be invited to unite virtually for a weekend of community building and celebration. 
Registration is open for people and families of all abilities and experience levels (a $28 per person registration fee will be matched and applied to individual fundraising goals). Participants who fundraise at least $280 through an official fundraising page will receive limited edition rewards by reaching different tiers, including a branded tote bag, Nike baseball hat, quilted picnic blanket and North Face backpack. For those not joining the Summer Challenge, donations in support of Team HPP also will be matched three-to-one.  

“Parkinson’s patients are experts on endurance. We endure every day to do the things we need to do with the limitations and setbacks we have. So, when people do things like this, it’s such an act of solidarity, understanding and support,” says Michael J. Fox. “We have a lot of experience of people doing some amazing things for Parkinson’s research. We’ve had people climb extraordinary mountains and run ultra marathons — but this is a first. Brendan, Scott, Peter and Pat, thank you. We’re sending out our love, support, admiration and all good wishes.” 

Learn more and get involved at   

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF)  

As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding $2 billion in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; creates a robust open- access data set and biosample library to speed scientific breakthroughs and treatment with its landmark clinical study, PPMI; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. For more information, visit us at, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.  


Media Contact:
Stephanie Blank
FGS Global


We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website, you indicate that you have read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.