Boxing helps him fight his PD
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|Thu, 04-09-2009 - 9:54am|
Newman's Parkinson's fight goes national
WTHR - Indianapolis,IN,USA
Indianapolis - It's a struggle that challenges more than a million Americans everyday and Indianapolis Public Safety Director Scott Newman is one of them. Recently, his battle with Parkinson's and his powerful method of fighting back went national.
Parkinson's Disease attacks the central nervous system and steals the ability to move. It is incurable. It pummeled Scott Newman, who was in his prime seven years ago at the age of 41.
"I just plunged myself into a period of inactivity and apathy and kind of just awaiting my fate," Newman, former Marion County prosecutor, said.
But withdrawing from the world wasn't an option. Once his friend Vince Perez, a former Golden Gloves boxer, got hold of him, "I did the only thing I thought I could do - teach him how to box," Perez said.
"He shamed me trained me, punished me and insulted me into standing up and fighting for my life," Newman said.
What the pair found was the intense workouts freed up Newman's seized muscles.
"Vigorous regular exercise does a lot of good for their symptoms - stiffness, the slowness, agility and overall sense of well-being," said Dr. Joanne Wojcieszek, Indiana University neurologist.
Newman and Perez opened Rock Steady Boxing, where others with Parkinson's now come to fight back.
"Victory can be just getting your hand up and being able to fully extend your arm," said Don Schaefer, Rock Steady boxer
Battered bodies that once could barely move are experiencing a reawakening.
"You see it right here in their eyes when the personality comes back, when the fight comes back," said Newman.
"My posture, my gait, flexibility, agility, confidence, my physical confidence is improved greatly," said Paula Tomlin, Rock Steady boxer.
By personalizing the disease, these boxers help keep Parkinson's on the ropes.