You usually come to a Parkinson’s article expecting to see a sad introduction about how cruel the disease is and how it is important to stay strong and fight it, but not this one. This article is about hope, hope that Parkinson’s can be defeated and that, like any other disease, it is as strong as you want it to be. The will and knowledge are enough to keep you alive and well, without having to think about anything negative.
This is the story of Claire Hackett, who chose not to think about how horrible life is with Parkinson’s, but to live freely, practicing sports and enjoying every moment of her life. Claire is 77 and she enrolled in an indoor cycling class. But that is not all Claire is up to: she walks the treadmill, she boxes and takes yoga and music classes. We remind you: Claire is 77 and she has Parkinson’s disease.
It all started 7 years ago, when Claire was diagnosed and she was expected to share the cruel fate of many others. One and a half million Americans deal with Parkinson’s every day. There is no cure for the disease and it is widely known because of the loss of dopamine neurons it causes. In time, memories fade, other personalities can emerge and motion becomes harder and harder to practice.
For generations, the disease has been regarded as a pit of despair, but sometimes people make a stand, they fight, the will to live is stronger than the disease itself and the pit sends something back. There are many people who withstood it: Janet Reno, Michael J. Fox, Muhammad Ali and Ben Petrick, these are all winners, people who survived and devoted their lives to showing the world that we can.
Claire has already joined the rank of survivors and specialists believe that she may have discovered something that was unknown to us before. There were some published studies, back in 2008, which suggested that taking up a cycling program can push back Parkinson’s symptoms by 35 percent. Moreover, a 2012 study also confirms that movement in general helps keep Parkinson’s at bay.
Doctors generally suggest that patients move at all times and keep their bodies as healthy as possible and it looks like this might help prevent Parkinson’s on the long run. So if you are having a good time in your couch waiting to get old, get up and start moving. Claire is 77 and she can do all those things. Why can’t you?
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