Punching out Parkinsons’s Disease
Published Monday, December 29, 2014 12:54PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 29, 2014 1:07PM EST
The desire to pummel a disease or debilitating condition into submission is understandable, and many patients in Montreal are doing just that.
The Cummings Centre is giving people with Parkinson's disease or those recovering from a stroke the opportunity to stay agile and active by learning how to box.
Syed Azmat Ali enjoys the challenge of getting in the ring.
"Really you have to imagine you're fighting a devil, this disease is a devil. and you gotta win. If you don't have that edge, forget it you're gone," said Ali.
Ali, along with many others, meets once a week at the Tri-Star boxing club for physical rehabilitation from Jeremy Rubin and other teachers.
"To see that there still is that capability for them to move at high speeds and work on their reflexes and create new neural pathways it's an amazing thing," said Rubin.
The class was created by Stefani Novick.
"To come into a boxing gym is a completely different experience than working on some boxing exercises," said Novick.
"Coming in, being treated like a real warrior, like an athlete, like a boxer, getting into the cage, getting into the ring."
Coach Ian Perron feels he gets as much out of this class as the participants, and he feels good about making a difference...
"When they get here they arrive, you can see the disease has affected them, but after all the drills we do with them you can see they're looser, they're happier," said Perron.
Boxing is not for everyone and all the participants have to be medically screened to make sure they can safely complete the training.
In the New Year the once-a-week program will add a second day at the Cummings Centre, and Ali is looking forward to the extra work.
"I feel wonderful when I walk out of here.
"I'm a brand new man."