Fighting Parkinson's one punch at a time

Nationwide, about a million people are afflicted with Parkinson's disease, a brain disorder that can impair simple activities we take for granted like walking and talking. Right now, there is no cure.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Nationwide, about a million people are afflicted with Parkinson's disease, a brain disorder that can impair simple activities we take for granted like walking and talking. Right now, there is no cure.
 
However, a Corpus Christi gym owner by the name of Ben Flores has been acting on an idea that he believes is helping Parkinson's victims -- it's the sport of boxing!
 
At a gym on the southside of town, boxers are training for a different type of fight.
 
"Well excercise is one of the things that delays the onset because it requires focus," said Bob Westrup, owner of Papa Murphy's Take-and-Bake Pizza.
 
13 years ago, Ed Ybanez was diagnosed with the brain disorder. Today, he has boxing champ Ben Flores in his corner.
 
"One thing I was doing with him is I was helping him create a rhythm," Flores said.
 
Flores recently trained at Rock Steady Gym in Indianapolis. There, he learned the program developed in 2006 that is dedicated to the fighting the symptoms of Parkinson's, one punch at a time.
 
"When they get diagnosed, the doctor gives them meds but they can fight back," Flores said.
 
In 11 years, Rock Steady has spread to over 50 gyms worldwide. The way it works is by improving patients' agility, accuracy, coordination and overall strength.
 
After round one, Ybanez said he's tired but ready for more.
 
If you would like to support the cause, an event called Paddle for Parkinson's Disease will be held Sept. 2. It's a kayak and paddle board relay raising money for the disease. Tickets are $5 each. For more information, visit www.catchthecure.org.
 

© 2017 KIII-TV


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