Rock Steady Boxing-O’Fallon, Illinois was started by Deb Belsheim as a way to help her dad who was suffering from the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease. She learned about RSB and what it could do for people with PD, and in 2016 she went to work. Today, RSB-O’Fallon is home to a determined group of men and women at various stages of the disease who are fighting back. Make no mistake. This is not another gym. RSBO classes are only available to people with Parkinson’s. “Parkinson’s causes unique symptoms. Our boxers enjoy the camaraderie that comes from being around others with PD. They get one another,” explains Belsheim. Though participants are called boxers, the program encompasses so much more than non-contact boxing. Ropes, bands, balls, and free weights are incorporated in to workouts purposefully designed for those with PD. There are even activities that focus on cognition and memory led by one of the boxers, a former speech language pathologist. The boxers work hard, and it shows. Participants notice improved flexibility, strength, range of motion, coordination, and balance.
Everyone involved with RSBO, from corner people who keep boxers safe to coaches to Deb and her administrative staff, is a volunteer. Boxers are asked to pay a monthly participation fee, but no one is turned away if they are unable to do so. Contributions from those in the community who understand the challenges associated with PD are welcomed and necessary to fund this important, beneficial, and life-changing program. Please join us in Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s and let our boxers know that Hope is in their Corner.
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