Rock Steady Boxing Keeps Parkinson’s Patients Moving

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NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Whether they’re doing giants steps across the gym floor, stretching out their muscles, or taking jabs for strength and agility, the active people in this class all have one thing in common; Parkinson’s Disease.

Moreover, all come 5 sessions a week to The Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach for Rock Steady Boxing. CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo connected with them through our Moving U campaign.

“Our boxers are usually lethargic and usually stiff, so when they come here they are always moving. As a matter of fact, the motto of Rock Steady Boxing is ‘People who move change the world’,” explained founder Jenny Enslein.

It was founded in Indianapolis, but North Miami resident Jenny Enslein brought it here not long after her husband Spencer was diagnosed with the disease.

Enslein went all in and found grassroots funding from the community and a grant by the National Parkinson’s Foundation. It all began in August of 2016 with 12 boxers. They now have 93 boxers.

Coach Dany put Lisa Petrillo through the punches, literally.

“Woohoo! It’s a real challenge,” exclaimed Petrillo while both sparring with the coach and balancing on a large ball at the same time.

Diagnosed 6 years ago, Jenny’s husband Spencer does not miss a class. He describes what this class has done for him.

“It’s allowed me to stay off the heavy medications. This has helped me keep my body moving and my muscles staying strong.”

Participants work through their needs and levels of the disease.

Coach Dany had Lisa attack a dummy, while mother and son Andrea and Brian Kutcher spar. Brian is a volunteer.

“I’m so thrilled they have this class because I think it really helps me. I do not feel weak. I feel good and powerful and that’s a good feeling,” said Andrea Kutcher.

Jane Baker was diagnosed a year ago and comes to every class.

“I find myself picking up my feet and walking better. I feel myself not shaking as much. I feel myself very strong and I feel very positive that I can beat this,” she said.

Each classes ends with the Rock Steady Boxing chant emblazoned on their shirts.

“I am not a patient; I am a boxer,” the group chants.

Rock Steady Boxing, fighting a tough disease one strong jab at a time.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Rock Steady Boxing program at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach, or to find a class near you.

What keeps you happy and healthy? Share what keeps you moving at movingu@cbsmiami.com for a chance to be featured!

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