CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A teenager from DuBois is making a difference in her community by using boxing to help others face Parkinson’s disease.
The WPAL Boxing and Fitness Center is a place for first responders to exercise for free but Aviana Gillaugh, Head Coach of the Parkinson’s program, is using it to help people more than four times her age battle the disease.
“We are here to try to slow down the progression of the Parkinson’s disease and to help people in need of that,” Gillaugh said.
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements. Over the past two months, the program at the WPAL Fitness Center combined with turnabout boxing is helping people physically and mentally.
“We teach math problems two. So if they’re on the bag we’ll have them yell out math problems to work two parts of the brain at the same time,” Gillaugh said. “We’ve seen improvements on many people that have come here already.”
Classes are Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the WPAL Fitness Center along East Long Avenue in DuBois.
“Parkinson’s condition touches all of us I think. Having Aviana with a central tremor herself, being able to help people that suffer from a condition like this I think is just amazing,” WPAL Executive Director & Team 814 Founder and Coach Aaron Beatty said. “Just the opportunity for those that have a condition like this to see a change in themselves, the opportunity to get better.”