Cedaredge man knocking out Parkinson's symptoms

CEDAREDGE, Colo. (KKCO) -- A Cedaredge man with Parkinson’s Disease has found a way to knock out some of his symptoms.

It’s a debilitating disease, one that affects your ability to write, tie your shoes, or even wash your hair.

"It's a progressive disease, and it's hard to find hope with a progressive disease," said Charlie Farrell, who has Parkinson’s disease.

Thirty days ago, Farrell couldn’t land a punch or jump, until he found boxing.

“It's helped every aspect of my life," said Farrell. “I was diagnosed about four years ago."

Farrell described the diagnosis as a complete shock and said "it really catches you off guard.”

In fact, it shook his world.

"It was pretty much life changing," said Farrell’s wife, Jan Blue.

After choosing to fight the disease, Farrell turned to rock steady boxing. It’s a nationwide boxing program for people with Parkinson’s.

"Then you realize there are some things within your capability to slow the disease, in order to stop it, stop its progression," said Farrell.

Farrell and Blue traveled all the way to California to try out the class. But boxing, for Farrell, is more than just exercise.

"It’s all Parkinson’s patients that are there, fighting their hearts out," said Blue.

It’s a community.

“When they say how are you doing and you say 'terrible', they know exactly what you mean,” said Farrell. “When you say 'great', they know exactly what you mean."

It's inspiring him to get back on his feet and fight.

"Then I built a gym,” said Farrell.

"I’m being his coach," his wife said.

Blue said they want to bring the rock steady program to the Western Slope.

“It's very encouraging and it was amazing," she said.

There isn't a cure for the debilitating disease, but boxing helps.

"Boxing is a particularly good thing to do, because it involves strength, and agility and movement, and you have to think while you're doing it," said neurologist, Dr. Seth Kareus.

Farrell has already seen his body change.

" It's Helped my balance, my agility...it's helped my voice," he said.

The couple hopes their journey can help someone else in their fight.

"Its life changing, you don't have to roll over and let the disease get you," said Farrell.

Both Farrell and Blue have been reaching out to gyms, hoping someone will join in the rock steady boxing effort. The two workout in their gym multiple times throughout the week.



 
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