Commemorating Muhammad Ali and His Battle With Parkinson’s

By Steve Hanson, 9:00 am on

Muhammad Ali was a champion inside the ring and out. While he was well known for his legendary career as a heavyweight boxer, he was also the face of Parkinson’s disease for the three decades he battled the disease. Throughout the course of his illness, he inspired others with PD as well as their Rockwall home care providers to never stop fighting.

Ali was diagnosed with PD in 1984, three years after he retired from boxing, at the young age of 42. Parkinson’s is most common among people 60 years of age and older. Many people speculate the onset of his disease was caused by repeated head trauma sustained throughout his boxing career. This was never proven, however, and there is still no definitive cause of Parkinson’s.

Ali did not wish to go public with his battle at first. He was well known for his speed and agility, which is how he would have preferred people to remember him. However, common PD symptoms including slurred speech, hand tremors, and slowed and stiff movements were particularly noticeable among fans. After his doctor encouraged him to become the face of Parkinson’s, he decided to become more involved and was instrumental in the founding of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, AZ, in 1997. The center has helped thousands of people around the country, including seniors and live-in caregivers in Rockwall, learn to manage their disease and continue to lead a full life.

While Ali raised over $1 million for Parkinson’s research, he will be most remembered as an inspiration to those with the condition. Ali gave a face to Parkinson’s and many patients have been quoted as saying that if Ali could battle it with dignity and grace, then they could too. His conviction to thrive, determination to overcome, and his steadfast commitment to research and improved treatments were a blessing to so many people. While there is still no known cure for Parkinson’s, Ali’s efforts were instrumental in the development of new treatment options that can slow its progression and improve quality of life.

Muhammad Ali was a great inspiration to and champion for those living with Parkinson’s. While many will mourn him, those living with PD still have resources at their disposal. Home Care Assistance of Rockwall is a leading provider of in-home care designed to help seniors with Parkinson’s manage life at home. Our live-in and hourly caregivers offer safety monitoring, physical therapy, and personal care assistance to help your loved one overcome the challenges of PD without compromising his or her comfort. Learn more today by calling (972) 722-7833 to set up a free consultation with an experienced Care Manager.

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