CTE Gives Back! January 2023


            Let’s kick off 2023 with a question to get your mind thinking:  What do Michael J. Fox, Alan Alda, Neil Diamond, Billy Graham, George H.W. Bush, and Muhammad Ali all have or have had in common?  If your immediate answer is that they all suffer(ed) with Parkinson’s Disease, you’re a winner!  And the “winner” this month as the recipient of our CTE Gives Back! charity dollars is Rock Steady Boxing.  This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is focused on giving hope to people with Parkinson’s disease by using a non-contact boxing based fitness curriculum to improve their quality of life.

            Parkinson’s Disease, a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and balance and coordination challenges, is a diagnosis received by over 60,000 people annually.  More than 1 million people have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the United States.  It typically does not run in families but stems from a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins.  The average age of onset is 60 and men are more likely to develop the disease than women.

            Various studies in the 1980s and 1990s provided evidence that rigorous exercise with emphasis on gross motor movement, balance, core strength, and rhythm could have a beneficial impact on range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and daily living activities.  This knowledge provided the initiative for former Marion County (Indiana) Prosecutor Scott Newman, suffering from early onset Parkinson’s, and his friend Vince Perez, an experienced Golden Gloves boxer, to found Rock Steady Boxing in 2006. 

            The impact of Rock Steady Boxing is now worldwide with 871 programs operating globally.  It has provided an opportunity of hope for 43,500 boxers with Parkinson’s who are or have participated in the program.  In addition, training and education is available for personal trainers, physical therapists, rehab facilities, boxing coaches, and other certified fitness and medical professionals who want to launch their own Rock Steady Boxing program.

            We invite you to explore the Rock Steady Boxing website – - to learn more about Parkinson’s Disease and this amazing program helping those suffering from it.  Be sure to check out the Foundation’s logo and ask yourself another question – “what’s behind that logo of the Statue of Liberty embellished with a boxing glove?”  According to the Rock Steady Boxing Founder Scott, “the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty and the hope symbolized by her presence at Ellis Island illustrated the dream that Rock Steady Boxing would be a beacon of light and hope for those suffering with Parkinson’s disease.  Our mission is to empower people with Parkinson’s disease to ‘fight back’.”