Fighting back against Parkinson’s disease


SARASOTA – April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. An estimated  seven to ten million people are living with the disease.

Shuffling of his feet, and loosing balance, Philip Anderson didn’t feel quite right.

“I knew something was wrong, but couldn’t really figure out what it was,” said Anderson

Anderson was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson disease two and a half years ago. A progressive neurological disease affecting the central nervous system, and despite no cure Anderson reached acceptance.

“There’s nothing I did or could have done to prevent it, so I felt like ok I have it what do I do, where do I go from here,” said Anderson

Anderson is fighting back against Parkinson’s at Parkinson’s place. Founded 13 years ago by Larry Hoffheimer, he created a safe place for more than a 1,000 people.

“They come with people just like them and they fell much less uncomfortable and they participate in a much more vibrant way,” Hoffheimer,

Growing from 3 to 40 people per class, Personal trainer Emmanuellie Arce helps increase mobility with a boxing class.

“So a lot of these exercise what they do is incorporate different areas of the body as far as to get full range of motion with their legs and their arms and overall working their brains as well,” said Arce

An intense workout  Kane Henneke has seen people with  Parkinson’s get stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally.

“Have such passion, they have a fight within them to fight back against Parkinson’s disease, its gives them hope that I can do this I can do anything,”  said Henneke

Not knowing what the future may hold Anderson is fighting back against Parkinson’s for as long as he can.

“You can’t wake up every day thinking geez I have Parkinson’s, I’m less of a person. You have to realize like anyone it’s the first day of the rest of your life and you have to move on with what you have,” said Anderson.

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Nadine Young
Nadine Young is a multi-media journalist. She joined the SNN news team in March of 2017. Nadine is no stranger to Florida, although born in New York she attended high school and college here. Nadine graduated from the University of South Florida in December of 2017, with a degree in Mass Communications with a focus in Broadcast News and a minor in Psychology. During her time at USF, she interned at FOX 13 news and News Channel 8 in Tampa. Nadine is an avid basketball fan, loves finding new places to eat, and spending time with her family and friends. Nadine loves to meet new people and listen to their stories. If you have a story idea, or if you’d just like to say hello, you can contact Nadine via email at