Boxing battles Parkinson's disease

Students at Misericordia University learned how boxing helps people with Parkinson’s battle the disease Tuesday evening.

The school’s Student Occupational Therapy Association hosted a program with the Rock Steady Boxing Gym in Old Forge.

That gym is part of a national nonprofit that helps people battling the disease with exercise.

People attending got a quick lesson in Parkinson’s and some demonstrations from Rock Steady coaches and boxers.

“It’s a non-contact boxing program, but its also all types of fitness designed to help them with their Parkinson’s specific symptoms and also to create an intense exercise atmosphere and a lot of camaraderie and a lot fun because they’re finding intense exercise is what slows the disease down,” Kathy Reap, the owner of Rock Steady Boxing Northeast PA, said.

“I love going every week and I see the difference that I make and I want others to see the difference that we as students make so that they have the chance to volunteer and hopefully they do next year when I graduate,” Olivia Natale, the president of MSOTA and a senior, said.

The gym is looking for more volunteers, especially during the summer when college students go home for break.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can call Kathy Reap at (570) 817-4307 or send an email to

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