Bright Spot: Fighting Parkinson’s one punch at a time

Bright Spot
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — They run. They punch. Each hit is another blow to Parkinson's as they fight to keep the disease from taking control of their bodies.

"It affects your balance, your stamina, your movement, your motor skills. It just really affects everything."

Three days a week at the Jewish Community Center in Germantown, Mandy Kelley takes her clients through the paces. It something that her clients don't mind.

It's why they come.

"I'm much, much stronger and I love boxing. I thought I wouldn't like it at all," said Bette Arndt.

This week, Kelley had her clients working on agility. The did cardio, dance and leg work along with strength training.

"Each week we have a plan of the week and so it targets each aspect of what Parkinson's can take away from my boxers."

"It's given me a optimistic feeling than I had maybe three or four years ago. I've been diagnosed a long time. I was diagnosed in 2007," saidJim Vascover.

Kelley said Rock Steady works and should be a part of a healthy routine for those with Parkinson's.

"My goal is that instead of them saying here's what to expect there's a prescription and it's Rock Steady Boxing."

"One boxer in particular that really had trouble with their gait, he did a lot of the quick Parkinson's walk which is very common. Well now he's confident to take bigger strides," she added.

Rock Steady builds confidence, strength and provides a support system for those with Parkinson's. It's a one-two punch in a match these boxers plan to win.

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