Event Info > Bonander Award
The Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award
The Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award winner is nominated and voted on by a PUW committee, including prior Bonander recipients. It is awarded to an individual in recognition of their exemplary contribution to the Parkinson’s community.
Alan Bonander was a person with Parkinson's who selflessly devoted to his time to patient advocacy through research and direct interaction with physicians. He was a dedicated husband, Californian, support person, consultant, advocate, writer, Parkinson's medication information resource, Parkinson's patient, Palidotomy recipient, asthma sufferer and internet pioneer. This is just a hint of who Alan Bonander was until his untimely death in 1996.
Ross Bonander, Alan Bonander's son, reflects on the things that were important to his dad: his family, hockey, and sharing PD info.
Congratulations to Rock Steady Boxing, recipient of the 2016 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award
Rock Steady Boxing – Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s Disease
Rock Steady Boxing (RSB), a 501(C) 3 nonprofit organization founded in Indianapolis in 2006, gives hope to people with Parkinson’s disease by improving their quality of life through a non-contact, boxing-inspired fitness curriculum.
In 2006, former Marion County Prosecutor Scott Newman was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He experienced a rapid progression of symptoms, including tremors, rigidity and a loss of some functions. A friend taught him to box, and he quickly saw his symptoms decrease. After only a few weeks, he stretched out his arms and said, “Look, I’m Rock Steady,” and Rock Steady Boxing was born.
In the U.S., approximately 1 million people have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and 60,000 more are diagnosed each year. National Parkinson’s organizations continue to invest in research to find a cause and a cure. While we are all looking forward to that day, Rock Steady Boxing is helping improve the quality of life of those living with Parkinson’s today.
Rock Steady Boxing helps people maintain their physical independence, improve their quality of life and restore confidence and dignity while we wait for a cure. RSB empowers people with Parkinson’s to “fight back” figuratively and literally.
Professional boxers condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents. At RSB, Parkinson’s is the opponent.
Researchers at institutions such as the University of Indianapolis and the Cleveland Clinic have validated physical and neurological improvement in Parkinson’s patients participating in intense, forced workouts. Studies have shown that those participating in the RSB program can see delay, reversal and/or reduction in symptoms.
Getting the right kind of exercise is part of the battle, but equally important are the social and emotional benefits people gain from Rock Steady as shared in these testimonial excerpts:
- We came to see we were more than “victims.” We could help others and help ourselves!
- We didn’t know how much we needed Rock Steady Boxing. Thanks to Rock Steady, both of us have a more positive outlook on our future.
- Today, I have a new lease on life. I am upbeat, happy, and optimistic – I have HOPE. I have taken control of this disease. It is not controlling me.
- My total well-being – morale, physical ability and relationship with others is better because of Rock Steady.
Each month at the Indianapolis RSB gym, more than 200 people participate in boxing-inspired exercises. Exercises vary depending upon the individual’s fitness and progression of symptoms. Seventeen classes at four levels are offered each week.
Today, there are 93 Rock Steady Boxing affiliate locations in 28 states and two international locations serving thousands of people. In 2016, 300 people will attend seminars in Indianapolis and return to their home communities to replicate the program to serve thousands more.
Rock Steady Boxing is living its battle cry: “In this corner: Hope.”
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