Hope for a Father Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

When Brittany’s dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she was terrified. But everything changed when they found Rock Steady Boxing, a program that uses boxing-inspired workouts as therapy for people with Parkinson’s and their ‘corner buddies.’

“Emotionally, physically — he’s growing every day, every time we go to this class,” she shares. “It’s nothing short of a miracle.”

Video Transcript

Brittany Nelson:: Watching my grandpa pass away from Parkinson’s when I was in kindergarten, and it scared me when I found out that Dad had it, too. I was horrified, because I knew there was this disease with no cure and what do we do now?

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that impacts motor skills and balance.

Brittany: This is my dad, and I know that that moment that we walked through the doors at Rock Steady, just to see what the class was about.

Rock Steady Boxing renews lives through boxing training.

Brittany: It was like he wasn’t alone anymore. Everybody’s coming up and welcoming us to class. Total strangers, and yet they weren’t because they were going through the same thing that he’s going through.

Brittany: It’s extreme cardio. I guess I would just have to say, every class is movement non-stop. We go around the room and each station has a different workout, and none of them are easy. You get to the station and you’re like, “Oh, that doesn’t look so bad,” and then you do it for the amount of time that’s on the clock and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I’m sweating through my shirt here.” It’s a blast but it’s hard work, and I’m 29 and I see these men in there that are my dad’s age and some people well into their 80s doing these extreme workouts, and they’re kicking butt in this class.

Brittany: The doctors basically tell them, “You have Parkinson’s and you can’t do this anymore. You can’t do that anymore.” Being with him and being his corner man in Rock Steady Boxing, it’s just the total opposite of anything they’ve been told medically.

Brittany: I’m a daddy’s girl. We’ve always been close, and to see how much of a change there’s been since the beginning, since before this class until now, it’s nothing short of a miracle. Emotionally, physically, he’s growing every day, every time we go to this class.

Bill: You don’t have Parkinson’s, I can tell you that. (Laughing)

With Brittany is his corner, Bill is growing stronger everyday.

Brittany: It’s also pushing me to be better, to be a better daughter, to be a better person. Yeah, I do feel as his daughter that it is my responsibility to take care of the man that raised me, who fed me and clothed me and kept me alive all these years and took care of me through all the ups and the downs. This is just extra. Extra time I get with Dad, and it’s good for him and it’s good for me, too.

Heart Open. Grotto Network

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