CHAMPs > Parkinson's CHAMP


Winning the Battle One Punch at a Time

Shuffling gait, unusual fatigue, freezing, decreased balance and stiffness all are symptoms that could lead your doctor to say “You have Parkinson’s,” and you wonder, “Now what?”

Everyone copes with their diagnosis differently. Some may be reluctant to learn about this “dreadful disease” at first, while others begin researching and learning all they can so that they may begin to “conquer this disease.”  

During the course of our research, members of our Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) NYIT team discovered the Adele Smithers Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Center located on the campus of NYIT in Old Westbury, NY. This is where we began our physical, occupational, and speech therapy sessions, as well as various medical research projects aimed at better understanding the disease and improving quality of life for those of us who share this diagnosis. The Center is also where we discovered RSB NYIT, a non-contact boxing program specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s disease that was brought to NYIT by neurologist and movement disorder specialist, Dr. Adena Leder.

RSB NYIT is a welcoming, supportive, and challenging place. A place filled with rigorous exercise, smiling faces, and strong sense of community. Not only does the program empower us to fight back against Parkinson’s and take back what the disease is trying to take away, but it also provides a place that lifts our spirits and helps us to find a new outlook on life.

The class allows us boxers to feel more coordinated and energetic, as well as help us come to the realization that we can live with Parkinson’s disease and still perform the activities we love.  While each diagnosis and journey is unique, RSB NYIT has allowed us to connect with people who share our experience, and meet new people-- not Parkinson’s patients, but engineers, carpenters, police officers, business and health professionals, educators, lawyers, doctors, and more.

Our team members decided to strengthen our ties to the Parkinson’s community outside of NYIT by joining together to participate in the 2018 Parkinson’s Unity Walk. We set our sights on becoming the 2018 Rookie Team of the Year and with 82 walkers registered on our team, we succeeded, raising $33,007.
Asking family and friends for donations can be a very uncomfortable thing to do, but when 100% of fundraising efforts support Parkinson’s research, that fear disappears. Many of our members said that they were overwhelmed with the amount of support they received, with some even brought to tears.

RSB NYIT put on a Rock Steady Boxing demonstration at the Walk in front of a crowd of smiling faces of families and friends.  Marc Burns, RSB NYIT Team Captain’s comment captures the sentiment of so many of our team members, “Our spirits were high and our future became brighter that day. For sure we will win the battle, one step and one punch at a time.”

Marc Burns
Francine Hyde
Nancy Ruiz-Smith
Barbara Russo
Team Members, RSB NYIT

Click for a printer friendly version