By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
A St. Joseph center that works with those suffering from
Parkinson’s disease will be able to help more area residents now that it is moving
into a new, larger space.
“We have about double the space now, which is going to allow
us to really expand what we’ve been doing and help as many people as we
possibly can,” Executive Director Stephanie Stewart with the Freudenthal Center
for Parkinson’s Disease tells host Barry Birr on the KFEQ Hotline.
The Freudenthal Center is moving from one space in the East
Hills Mall to another as it seeks to help combat the ravages of the disease.
“And the idea really was just to offer them classes so they
can exercise, because we know that people that have Parkinson’s, they really
need to be active,” Stewart explains. “That is a key to their disease
progression and how quickly it progresses.”
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder caused by a
loss of dopamine. Medication can help increase dopamine levels, according to
the Mayo Clinic website. Exercise also helps keep muscle and joints from
The Freudenthal Center offers a variety of exercises with
boxing being one of the most popular, according to Stewart. She says exercise
can slow the often debilitating progress of the disease.
“Many times, they’ll have the shake,” Stewart says. “When
people hear Parkinson’s, they automatically think of the shake, but really not
everybody has that tremor. Most all of them do have some difficulty with
The new space will provide more boxing stands, a walking track,
tandem cycles, and even ping pong.
“Ping pong is a great hand-eye coordination for folks,”
according to Stewart. “And really, the main thing is we just want to be able to
be prepared to help as many people as we possibly can.”
The Freudenthal Center serves about 25 residents a week now.
Stewart says the expanded space will allow the center to serve even more. There
is no charge for its services. The center runs on donations and fund raisers.
Workers volunteer their time.
She says estimates peg the number of Buchanan County residents
with Parkinson’s disease at between two-and-three thousand.
A grand reopening for the Freudenthal Center for Parkinson’s
Disease at the East Hills Mall is scheduled for July 14th.