Paul Anderson doesn't let injury keep him from fighting Parkinson's at Rock Steady Boxing.
In 1964, Muhammad Ali declared he would “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” against his intimidator, heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Liston was terrifying by all standards and commentators debated whether Ali would even show up for the fight.
Ali won that fight, but it would shy in comparison to the fight he would begin facing 20 years later. In 1984, Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 42.
Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative brain disorder. A person’s brain slowly stops producing dopamine. As the dopamine in the person’s body decreases, motor skills, balance, speech and sensory functions begin to deteriorate. Most people’s symptoms take years to develop, leaving them undiagnosed.
The disease itself is not fatal, but complications from the disease rank as the 14th leading cause of death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The famous boxer and heavyweight champion is just one of the million Americans who live with Parkinson’s each day.
Another one of those million is Paul Anderson, a patient of OrthoIndy physician, Dr. Jeffery Whitaker. It was the common denominator of OrthoIndy that allowed me to meet this one in a million fighter.