Grand Island residents pack a big punch

March 1, 2019

Powerful things are happening in Grand Island! Ashlyn Cramer is a physical therapist at the Grand Island Balance, Mobility, and Aquatic Therapy Center in Grand Island, Nebraska. After several local residents expressed a need for a Rock Steady Boxing class in Grand Island, Parkinson’s Nebraska helped Ashlyn participate in the Rock Steady Boxing Coaches Training Camp in June of 2018.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Ashlyn and see how her training has impacted the Grand Island Parkinson’s community. She describes the program as an opportunity to “incorporate strength, agility, balance, fine motor control, cognition, community and fun into one program targeted at “Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s” and the daily impairments people struggle with when living with this disease”. As a physical therapist, she has enjoyed sharing this program with her patients who are ready to be discharged to a home-based or community program.

The first class in Grand Island began in November of 2018 with 5 boxers. Within the last three months, the class has grown to 15 boxers. The class has boxers, or fighters as Ashlyn calls them, with varied impairments and severities of symptoms. The trainers are sure to incorporate a lot of fun while targeting each individual’s functional barriers to daily life. Many of the fighters have reported “strength and stability gains along with improved energy, increased mood/sense of support within the group, and even improved capability for completing fine motor tasks like buttoning shirts, writing, and managing small objects”.

Not only does Ashlyn share this program with her class, she uses it to spread awareness throughout the entire Grand Island community. She says has “attended support group meetings, shared this opportunity with local physicians/neurologists, and have even been able to spread public awareness about the disease and the benefits of this class through local news/media sources”. Check out article from NebraskaTV below.

Rock Steady Boxing offers special workout for those with Parkinson’s

Squaring up to take the punch out of Parkinson’s, balance mobility and aquatic therapy has partnered with the Grand Island YMCA to host Rock Steady boxing classes, a special course that is designed to assist those with Parkinson’s.

The Rock Steady Boxing classes are led by Ashlyn and Kasady, a PT Tech, and meet at the Downtown YMCA in Grand Island, Nebraska on the following days:

                Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00 am- 11:00 am

                Monday & Friday: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm

Contact the Grand Island Balance, Mobility, and Aquatic Therapy Center at 308-398-2170 for questions about the class or to set up an initial evaluation for a one-time fee of $75 (which includes education on the program, initial assessment, and boxing wraps/gloves).

Once an evaluation is completed, boxers can attend class as many times a week as they’d like with a YMCA membership. Membership pricing options can be discussed with Grand Island YMCA at 308-395-9622.

Jacey Gengenbach at 2018 Functional Aging Summit

May 3, 2019

Functional aging is a concept that is based on the idea that measurements other than chronological ago can be used to measure someone’s position in the aging process. The Functional Aging Institute (FAI) is a training platform for personal trainers specializing in fitness for older adults. Each year since 2015, it hosts the Functional Aging Summit- the world’s premier fitness, training, and aging event.

Jacey Gengenbach, the instructor for the Parkinson’s Nebraska- sponsored exercise lass called Strength and Balance, attended the Summit in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, she was asked to be a speaker at the Summit. Her presentation was on Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease and she shared information about:

  • What Parkinson’s Disease is
  • The benefits of exercise
  • Myths and misconceptions
  • Do’s and don’ts for professionals
  • A training demo
  • Client success stories.

One of her favorites parts of being at the Summit is being surrounded by fitness and aging experts, learning from others, and sharing her experiences and knowledge. “The knowledge and passion at this event is truly amazing… The Summit literally helps you get better at everything.”

The clients Jacey works with at Fitness and Beyond also benefit from the Summit because she is bringing back the latest and greatest in exercise and wellness for active aging adults. She says that the Summit “helps [professionals] get better at everything.” Just like that is the goal of the Summit, Jacey’s goal is to have her clients moving better, feeling better, and doing the things they love as long as possible.

Additionally, Jacey has co-authored a book with Functional Aging Institute co-founder, Dan Ritchie titled Active Aging: Functional Fitness to renew Your Strength, Balance, and Energy for the Best Years Yet. The book explores functional fitness and how it can “equip you to live life at full strength”.

Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to have Jacey as a partner and are grateful for the knowledge and expertise she provides to the Parkinson’s community. Parkinson’s Nebraska sponsors the Strength and Balance class at Fitness and Beyond (1032 S. 74th Plaza, Omaha, NE). Stop by and check it out!

            Monday           11:30 am- 12:30 pm

                                    12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

            Tuesday           12:30 pm- 1:30 pm

            Wednesday      12:30 pm- 1:30 pm

            Thursday         12:30 pm- 1:30 pm

To learn more about Jacey, her book, and her classes please visit

Maintaining Movements for Big Results

March 1, 2019

Nate Hall from Style Fitness and Nutrition in Omaha, Nebraska is an inspiring example of the passion people have for helping the Parkinson’s community. His journey with Parkinson’s began with his father’s diagnosis. After his father began to experience symptoms, he was inspired to develop a program that challenged patients to use their minds and control their body to help slow the side effects of Parkinson’s.

The class has grown steadily since it began. He expects 10 people in his next class. His class provides more than physical benefits. It provides comradery and support that you can only get from people going through the same experience. On February 28th, WOWT did the following story on Nate’s Maintaining Movements with Parkinson’s Disease class.

Workout class adapted for people living with Parkinson’s

It might not look like a high impact workout, but what it does for those taking part means so much more. ‘My worst part is tremors with my right side of my body and my gait,’ Steve Hall said. ‘Exercise…

Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to support Nate and the Maintaining Movements for Parkinson’s class. Earlier this week, Parkinson’s Nebraska approved a $563.20 grant for Nate’s class to go towards new equipment including versa tubes, sparring gloves, and an agility ladder. We look forward to partnering with Nate to help create a bigger impact in the Parkinson’s community. Below is more information on the Maintaining Movements for Parkinson’s class:

Maintaining Movements with Nate
Style Fitness and Nutrition
15117 Industrial Rd.
Every other Friday @ 5 p.m.– next class: 3/8/19
Cost: FREE
Contact Name: Nate Hall
Phone: 402-719-7853

The next class will be held at Style Fitness and Nutrition on Friday, March 8th at 5:00 pm. The class is currently offered every other Friday, but Nate is working with Parkinson’s Nebraska to expand the number of classes offered. Contact Nate at 402-719-7853 or

Role of Environmental Factors in Parkinson’s Development Investigated in Review Study

February 4, 2019

The hallmark presence of Lewy bodies in the pathway related to sense of smell and in the gut years before a Parkinson’s diagnosis, as well as the potential cumulative impact of different triggers, may help researchers understand the environmental factors that contribute to the development of the disease, according to a review study.

How coffee might protect against Parkinson’s

January 18, 2019

Coffee is thought to protect the brain against Parkinson’s disease. A recent study investigates which compounds might give coffee its neuroprotective powers. The findings may eventually lead to innovative new treatments.

Woman confronts Parkinson’s disease with jabs and upper-cuts

January 10, 2019

“I find it exhilarating. I love boxing, and I never thought I would love it as much as I do. By the time I leave I feel much more energized and much more limber,” said the 52-year-old, who said she sees Parkinson’s much different than she did when she was first diagnosed.

Now What? Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

December 28, 2018

Two of Parkinson’s Nebraska board members, Michelle Faulkner and Dan Lombardo, serve on the Panel of Experts for the NET series Now What? Understanding Parkinson’s Disease. The panel discusses what Parkinson’s Disease is, the signs and symptoms, treatments, and research on the horizon.

Lincoln artist continues sketching with Parkinson’s disease

December 19, 2018

Bob Sharp was diagnosed with Parkinson’s nearly 20 years ago, but it hasn’t stopped him from his passion of drawing. He continues to sketch at Orchard Park Assisted Living in Lincoln, NE.

Lincoln Resident Fights Parkinson’s with Rock Steady Boxing

September 5, 2016

Diagnosed almost two years ago, Coffey refuses to be bullied by the progressive neurological disorder. He takes medication three times a day to control his symptoms, mainly left-hand tremors and a “slap” to his walk. But that’s not the only way he is going toe-to-toe with the disease.

All About Parkinson’s Nebraska on KFAB podcast

August 30, 2016

Parkinson’s Nebraska chairman, Ted Wuebben, talks about our mission. Click here to listen.