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Punch Out Parkinson’s Wellness Centre coming to Langley

Location expected to open early March on Langley Bypass

Thanks to a recent boxing fundraiser featuring local cops and firefighters, charity Punch Out Parkinson’s raised enough funds to secure a location in Langley for a new wellness centre.

Punch Out Parkinson’s offers a specialized boxing program, sponsored by Box2Fit, to help those with Parkinson’s or Parkinson’s-like symptoms.

Since receiving charity status earlier this year, Laurentia La Sasso and her son Frankie La Sasso got to work raising funds to open a wellness centre in the new year in Langley.

“Our mission is to provide a one stop centre for the much-needed programs, which are proven to support their physical, mental and emotional well-being,” Laurentia explained. “A Parkinson’s centre is desperately needed for a disease that is afflicting 30 people each and every day in Canada alone.”

She said the centre will meet the needs of family members too.

“We encompass the mental, emotional, social, [and] physical aspects and needs. We embrace the family unit as Parkinson’s may be the diagnosis for one individual in the family, but the caregiver and family members struggle with the disease as well,” she noted.

The Punch Out Parkinson’s Wellness Centre is expected to open in March 2024, on the Langley Bypass next to the Box2Fit gym.

Frankie, Box2Fit gym owner and coach with a background in physiotherapy, helped design the boxing program and said it has helped people with Parkinson’s strengthen the mind-body connection.

“You got to be ready to throw the next combo, and the next combo,” Frankie said. “You got to be able to put those numbers with your hands at the same time – when you watch two men fighting each other, they’re both thinking and moving at the same time.”

He said his Punch Out Parkinson’s programs are not therapy. People walk in the door and are taught the basics of boxing but with an individualistic approach. The classes specifically focus on balance, strength, conditioning, and, of course, boxing.

Laurentia, also a Box2Fit trainer, further explained exercises are often modified depending on the individual’s symptoms and situation and people attending the class report that their doctors will ask what they are doing because their symptoms have been staved off.

The wellness centre will combine resources to address the physical, mental, and emotional needs of its patients, as well as those of caregivers and family members. It will also provide a space for neurologists to meet, evaluate, and educate patients.

Parkinson’s is the world’s fastest growing neurodegenerative disease. Movement is normally controlled by dopamine, a chemical that carries signals between the nerves in the brain. When cells that normally produce dopamine die, the symptoms of Parkinson’s appear. According to Parkinson Canada, more than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson’s and 25 more are diagnosed every day.

The centre will be located at 20560 Langley Bypass.

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Kyler Emerson

About the Author: Kyler Emerson

I'm honoured to focus my career in the growing community of Aldergrove and work with our many local organizations.
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