WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Tremors are a major sign of Parkinson’s Disease.
“If I ignore it, maybe it will go away,” said Jim Oertle.
In April 2023, Oertle learned he had Parkinson’s.
“Parkinson’s robs you of your strength and coordination and balance,” he said.
Those are essentials Oertle wants back.
“I was diagnosed Friday and Monday, I was here,” he said.
Here is Club Parkinson’s.
“Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder, and we need to fight the disease with movement,” said Connie Urbanek, co-founder of Club Parkinson’s.
Nearly a million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson’s. Numbers are expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2030.
The nonprofit teaches a variety of classes based on a person’s severity. The classes push strength and balance.
“It is a necessity, and it’s so imperative to teach people with Parkinson’s disease that they can improve. They can make changes, and now research is showing that they can slow the progression,” said Shana Gatschet, co-founder of Club Parkinson’s.
In one year, 75% of their members maintained or improved their abilities.
Above all, the group provides understanding and support.
“Attitude is everything when it comes to treating this disease,” Oertle said. “Keeping your spirits up that’s good medicine.”
Their members make a daily decision to never give up.
“Not today, Parkinson’s,” the group chants in their classes.
Club Parkinson’s meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Wichita State University Heskett Center, 1845 Fairmount Street. In the fall, they will be expanding to classes five days a week.
For more information on Club Parkinson’s, click here.