Punching against Parkinson’s, a grandmother boxer fights for her health

ANTALYA, Turkey (Reuters) – Wearing glossy gloves and purple tennis shoes, 75-year-old Nancy Van Der Stracten hops into the boxing ring and begins punching in a battle versus extreme signs of Parkinson’s illness.

6 years after her medical diagnosis, the Belgian lady who resides in Turkey found the advantages of non-contact boxing by possibility while looking into the illness. Since, she has actually been refining her punching by going to a health club 3 times a week.

“It does not stop your Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease. It never stops but you can…slow it down,” Van Der Stracten stated at a health club in the Mediterranean province of Antalya where she has actually lived for 15 years.

Non-contact boxing does not include taking any punches, so there is no danger of head injury.

Understood passionately by the residents as “Auntie Naciye”, she stated when she initial step into the boxing ring, individuals viewed the granny of 8 with their mouths agape as they were not utilized to seeing ladies of her age in the ring.

“If you are more than 50 years old they really look at you like this: ‘What are you coming to do here?’ But they are gentle from the heart, the Turks. So they let me do it,” she informed Reuters.

Parkinson’s, a progressive illness that impacts countless individuals worldwide, produces tremblings and tightness along with issues strolling and speaking. In spite of restricted research study, extreme workout has actually been associated with enhancing clients’ lives.

“Studies have shown that non-contact boxing is good for the brain so it is good for the Parkinson’s disease. Will it cure Parkinson’s disease? Probably not because it is a neuro-degenerative disorder… but it does improve the quality of life for patients,” stated Geysu Karlikaya, a neurologist at Medicana Health center in Istanbul.

A furnishings designer and painter, Van Der Van Der Stracten stated it has actually been much easier to do household chores given that she started boxing.

“My doctor said one day, it is forbidden to you to sit down. Go on, go on, go on. And that is my counsel to everybody,” she stated. “Go out to sport and do something that you like.”

(Reporting by Yesim Dikmen; Modifying by Dominic Evans and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.