CARY, N.C. -- More than 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year.

What You Need To Know

  • According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, more than 1 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease

  • Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects mobility

  • There is no cure for Parkinson's disease

  • Rock Steady Boxing is a nationwide program that helps people living with Parkinson's 

With no cure, it's often a struggle for people suffering from the debilitating illness to fight back. Title Boxing Club in Cary offers a place for those suffering from Parkinson's to fight back.

"Physically, I feel a lot better than when I was first diagnosed with Parkinson's," Eric Hammergren says.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 52. Two years later, he found Rock Steady Boxing.

"Moving, moving, moving is a constant you have to do for Parkinson’s otherwise you get all frozen up," Hammergren says.

He has been battling his disease for seven years. He takes medication to control his tremors. Although medication doesn't cure Parkinson's disease, it helps reduce symptoms.

He says since joining Rock Steady, he has decreased the amount of medication he takes on a daily basis. Rock Steady Boxing is a nationwide workout program created specifically for people with the disease.

The 90-minute class includes exercises to build strength, flexibility, and speed.

Amanda Novachek is the head instructor at the Rock Steady Boxing class in Cary. She says she has seen significant improvement in the members that come on a regular basis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not put a stop to Amanda's classes. She continues to teach a handful of members in-person, socially-distanced, and with masks. Some members also participate virtually.

Hammergren attends class four times a week, mixing in-person and virtual sessions.

"If I weren't doing this, I'd be a lot more folded up," he says.

He says the program has also helped him build friendships within the Parkinson's community.

"If it was any other program, I probably wouldn't have stuck with it. But, all these people are my family now," he says.

To find a Rock Steady Boxing class near you, click here.