Muhammad Ali let us all know who was the greatest, but some believe Parkinson’s is why the loudest mouth in sports is now a whisper.
Karen's here because of her dad, Lloyd, who died from Parkinson’s six years ago, “Pretty much his physicians said here are some pills. Take these and you're good. And I, at that time thought, there's gotta be a better way.”
She has a martial arts background and heard about this national movement using non-contact boxing to battle Parkinson’s.
Fred's gone toe to toe with the disease for the last decade, “Talking to people, I'd be bent over like this. And people say c'mon straighten up. I'd be like unaware of it. This has given me a lot better balance.”
When he started, he could jump rope just twice in a row. Now his personal best is 25! He's tried swimming, weightlifting, walking, but boxing seems better. “I'm that much more together. So it's, I don't know what to make of it exactly. But I'm not arguing with it.”
Karen says boxing works for three reasons. First, the rotating punching motion pushes through stiffness caused by Parkinson’s. Second, the punch combinations boxers call out work the brain, and the voice that is sometimes lost, and third, its group therapy!
As for Fred, he says the sport has given back his posture, his dexterity, and his confidence.