April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and with more than 1 million Americans living with the disease, one local organization is fighting back in a major way.
Empower Parkinson Executive Director Patrick VanBeveren says they started as Rock Steady Boxing but realized early on that movement doesn’t just have to mean boxing for those battling Parkinson’s disease. Their vision eventually evolved to become the organization which is now known as Empower Parkinson.
“We really looked at the literature and looked at everything that benefited people with Parkinson’s and in slowing the disease,” he says. “We’ve implemented those under the bigger umbrella of Empower Parkinson.”
Studies have shown that movement has made a big difference in the lives of those dealing with Parkisonon’s Disease. The cornerstone of the program has helped people tremendously, VanBeveren says.
“It makes people use those functions, thereby making people hold onto the function for a longer period of time,” he adds.
Empower Parkinson offers a variety of ways that people can get moving, from kickboxing to yoga and even Tai Chi. VanBeveren says that they’re hosting a drive-by and drop in event on Sunday, April 18th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone is invited to visit the gym, located at 604 Liverpool Road. To learn more about the event and the organization, visit EmpowerParkinson.org.