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Rock Steady Boxing helps People with Parkinson's take back their lives

Elaine Embry enjoy her hour and half long Rock Steady Class. (Photo: Courtney Wheaton)

MIDLAND, Mich. - For those living with Parkinson's these moves are more than just a boxing routine.

With each exercise they are fighting back against a relentless opponent.

"I've had Parkinson's for the last eight years the doctors told me working out is just as important as taking medication," said Rock Steady Coach Neal Smith.

The disease is debilitating and progressive, but doctors say vigorous exercise can decrease symptoms and slow down the progression.

Parkinson's affects the nervous system causing symptoms like tremors and muscular stiffness.

Before coming to the class Smith couldn't walk without a cane now he's trained to teach class.

Smith isn't the only one seeing progress.

Pinky and Blinky are Twins, both 73 years old and both living with Parkinson's.

They were diagnosed within a year of each other and have been coming to class ever since.

"The class has worked wonders for our confidence and gave us our lives back," said Mary Williams.

The program is one of five in the state designed to help those living with the disease. Family members included—Spouses often come to class to support.

If you would like to hear their stories in person there's support group happening this Wednesday in Frankenmuth and Independence Village Assisted Living. The program starts at 1:00 p.m.

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