People diagnosed with Parkinson's finding strength through the Peninsula Pilates Project

Peninsula pilates project

MONTEREY, Calif. -  It is estimated that 7-10 million people have Parkinson's disease around the world. Scientist are looking at gene therapy as a possibility to relieve symptoms, however there's no cure at this time. Many around the Central Coast are using Pilates to get their movement back.  

This year approximately 60-thousand people within the United States will be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. That diagnosis for Joanne Randall came about a year and half ago. Already a breast cancer survivor Joanne was worried about the road to recovery.

"Physically I feel stronger, it's a new experience to me," said Joanne Randall.

Finding strength when all the body wants to do is be weak.

"The brain cells that receive the neurotransmitter dopamine are damage so they have trouble with their gait, with their balance, with their speech. Pilates has been found to increase not only the dopamine to the brain but their sense of balance and control," said Peninsula Pilates Project Director Andrea Borgman-quist.

So far nearly 100-people have received free help through the Peninsula Pilates Project.

"This really focuses on the mind body and spirit. Through this I was able to get the blood flowing get endorphins going and start feeling positive again," said Pilates Instructor in training and breast cancer survivor Laura Anderson.

That was also the case with Barbara Batic, who was quickly progressing into stage one Parkinson's. 

"When I got the diagnosis of Parkinson's I fell apart for three months. And then I said this is not going to define who I am. I'm going to fight it," said Barbara Batic.

Religiously doing Pilates for over a year, Batic said she's no longer in stage one, or on any medication.

"Because you start feeling better and when you start feeling better you're able to do more. And you like yourself better," said Barbara Batic.

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