YMCA members worry what's next for Pedaling for Parkinson's
SARASOTA COUNTY - They all have the same debilitating disease, yet YMCA members diagnosed with Parkinson’s show up weekly to pedal in a program proven to reduce their symptoms up to 35%. Now it’s all going away.
“I’ve stayed here for 19 years. I’m worried about the members in the Parkinson’s cycling class and I want them to stay together and I want them to continue their success," says instructor Kathy Helmuth.
As the closing date looms closer, Helmuth’s concerns grow.
“Where will they go? Who will be their coach? How will they be lifted up in the community so they can continue this exercise protocol?” says Helmuth.
Members walking in for Tuesday’s pedaling class say they’re distressing over losing not only a class vital to their overall health, but also a facility which serves a greater purpose than a gym.
“It’s very sad because the Y is such a nucleus for social activities. I could see improvement in my condition with the additional exercise," says participant Mike Marcus.
"It’s a support group, among many other things, but the cycling class is evidence based program that shows that it helps people with Parkinson’s. It helps with delaying the progression of our symptoms," says participant Carolina Murphy.
As for now, Helmuth says she has no plans for a substitute location to continue a class which means so much to so many.