Locals Making Strides in Parkinson’s Awareness

(Submitted photo/Mary Bartoshuk) Team LaBelle at the Walk 4 Hope at Lakes Regional Park. Back Row – Mary Bartoshuk, Ruth Callin, Jim Rust, Marin Yelton, John Rouse, Kathleen and Bob Heidenreich, Front Row, Linnie McDonald, Cor-Nan Coldiron, Barbara Maves and Ted Jones We are all holding picture of our member Rosi Allen, who was in hospital, but had planned on attending, so we decide she would attend in spirit and in picture!!!

LaBelle certainly does not have a shortage of inspirational people, and the attendees of the LaBelle Parkinson’s Exercise Class and their caregivers are among them. This determined group rallied together at the Walk 4 Hope event, held at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers, this past Saturday, April 6. The Walk 4 Hope was an event where Parkinson Program participants, their caregivers, family, friends, and neighbors gathered and walked together, to raise awareness and kick-off the start of Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive, incurable neurological disease associated with a loss of dopamine-generating cells in the brain. A staggering one million Americans are currently living with Parkinson’s Disease. While PD is often known for its movement and motor-related problems, or tremors, it can also cause apathy, depression, sleep disorders, and cognitive impairment. Exercise is essential for those with PD, helping maintain balance, mobility, and overall disease management.

Research has shown that daily physical activity can actually improve PD symptoms. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with PD and is looking for support, the LaBelle Parkinson’s Exercise Class meets every Thursday, at 9:00 a.m. in the Hope Connections senior center, located at 475 E. Cowboy Way in LaBelle.

Danika can be reached at dhopper@newszap.com

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