INDIANAPOLIS – This week on Pay it Forward, we are heading to a gym on Indy’s northeast side, where Hoosiers are looking to knock out Parkinson’s disease.
For more than a decade, Rock Steady Boxing has offered boxing classes designed especially to help Parkinson’s patients with mobility issues.
Carmel mom Kylee Pagan joined the gym after she was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease back in 2019.
She says at first, she barely noticed her symptoms. In fact, her husband realized something was off when she could barely lift one of her arms. A few months later, she started tripping and falling. At one point, she broke her foot.
After seeing a handful of doctors all over the country, Pagan was finally diagnosed.
“Being diagnosed with it, it was really time. How much time do I have? It’s a degenerative disease — how can I make it better?” she thought.
But the mom of two decided early on that the diagnosis wasn’t going to slow her down.
She found out about Rock Steady Boxing, attended a class, and was instantly hooked.
Fast forward a few years, she’s now helping others. This time though, she is a coach.
She helps lead classes through different drills and exercises, helping people at all stages of Parkinson’s disease.
“I can leave here with the success of knowing I helped improve a stepping motion or even just a tap out or even hands above the head for punching or boxing. It’s total giveback 110%,” she explained.
Rock Steady Boxing was founded in Indianapolis. But the program is in nearly every US state.
As for Pagan, she says she is hoping to become a certified personal trainer by summer to help even more Hoosiers who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.