Galesburg boxing group punches their way through Parkinson's disease

By  | 

GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) - Carlos Duncan, a Galesburg boxing coach and former gold glover, is giving back to the community in a unique way. He's helping those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a way to fight, by offering boxing lessons.

The routine is from Rock Steady Boxing, it's is a fitness routine for individuals fighting Parkinson's disease, helping each person with agility, confidence, and sense of self. The fitness model has dozens of chapters around the country, and Duncan decided to start the local chapter in Galesburg.

"It's basically getting off the couch, doing something," Duncan said. "This gives people with Parkinson's at least an opportunity to help you know it gives them some hope."

But with every punch and jab thrown in class three days a week, this program means the world to 79 year old, David Beverendorfs, 81-year-old Melvin Siverly, and 81 Bille Wise, who all diagnosed with Parkinson's.

"Parkinson's really changes your life because you have to relearn a lot of stuff," said Beverendorfs. "You have to relearn how to eat, how to breath, how to dress, all kinds of things."

He says with every punch thrown, is another step to living a longer life. "Exercise is medicine, and it's probably the best medicine we can do."

With each exercise and punch, it's a reminder to keep going and keep living. "The important thing is, don't stop moving, keep moving," said Melvin Siverly.

Now each of these men knows, through it all, they've got each other to keep pushing through. "We're all friends here, you just accept what you can and have a lot of fun with it," said Bill Wise.

If you have a loved one who's fighting Parkinson's in the Galesburg area, here's a link to their website: