PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Parkinson’s patients are literally fighting the disease with the help of a boxing gym that recently expanded to a bigger space in Tigard.
Kimberly Berg’s Rebel Fit Club offers classes aimed at improving Parkinson’s symptoms like tremor, slowed movement and rigid muscles.
The gym offers a unique opportunity for its clients.
“I’m shaking but I don’t feel the slightest bit self-conscious because everyone’s got something or another that demonstrates their disease,” said Jean Donovan.
Last year, the gym was working in a cramped space much too small to meet the level of interest it was receiving. But it recently relocated to a 12,000-square-foot building.
“One of our gyms was overwhelmingly crowded and we needed our own site,” said Kimberly Berg. “That was a year ago and now we have our dream site.”
The teaching style at the gym is working for so many people that Berg said they’re still renting four other locations in Tigard and Vancouver to keep up with demand.
Kent Hamptom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease just three months ago but he noticed a difference after joining the gym.
“I think it does help with the tremor a little bit and just generally feeling better,” he said.
Donovan said she thinks the sooner patients start fighting the disease, the better.
“It’s so important that people with Parkinson’s not give up because you feel a little bit more empowered, you feel a difference in your disease course so I feel empowered doing this,” she said.
The new Tigard location also offers massage therapy, social events, obstacle courses and classes on dance, drumming, Tai Chi and yoga. Berg said they will also be offering classes to people fighting multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.
Those interested in taking classes at Kimberly Berg’s Rebel Fit Club start with taking an online quiz to learn more about how the program works.
The gym also needs positive, energetic volunteers interested in helping those with Parkinson’s disease.