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Delay the Disease classes are helping Parkinson’s patients at the YMCA

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"It started about ten years ago, a YMCA in Des Moines was hosting a training, a very specific training. To have a class for people with Parkinson's disease. I was new here at that time and I thought well what better place than a YMCA to bring such a specific community based class to our community, so I jumped on the opportunity, and we've had these classes for about ten years."

Jacque Perez, senior program director at the YMCA

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KTIV) - The Delay the Disease class at the Norm Waitt YMCA in South Sioux City provides a type of physical therapy for those suffering with Parkinson's. And those who have joined the class have seen favorable results.

"What we're seeing is people seem to have less depression. They're coming, in they're feeling better about how they're doing, they have more hope, quality of life," said Dawn Welch, a Delay the Disease instructor "I also see their balance improving I also see them able to walk some folks have come in using a cane, and they have not had to use that after a while."

Its not all about the results though, members of the class quickly become friends brought together by the disease they share.

Deidre Engel a 3-year member of the class joined soon after she was diagnosed. She says the Delay the Disease program has been a huge help since her diagnosis.

"I didn't really have all the symptoms other Parkinson's patients have. I just had these random falls I fell in the parking lot and broke my nose," said Deidre Engel. "I fell up and down stairs outside and just I had no warning so my doctor she said you got to get somewhere where you can get balance help and that's what they do they help with that stiffness mobility and flexibility."

Recently, the Delay the Disease class had it quarterly tests. Everyone was timed and tested for balance, as well as movement. Some tests include simply standing on one foot, or getting up from a chair and walking. We asked Deidre how she felt about her performance on the tests.

"Oh I had a little bit of a slumber on one part, but that's okay everybody has problems some days you cant control it and you have to just roll with it and be humble that tomorrow will be a better day," said Engel

For more information on the class and how you can sign up, follow this link.

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Jayson Moeller

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