Donor Gives $100,000 for Parkinson’s Program at St. Joseph Hospital

EUREKA, Ca. (KIEM) – It’s a sport that’s helping people afflicted with Parkinson’s. They’re doing it through boxing.

Harry Hardin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease almost six years ago.

“A lot of people want to stay in the closet,” said Harry Hardin, “they don’t want to admit they have Parkinson’s. I don’t care. I have Parkinson’s, and it something I have to live with.”

But he doesn’t let his disease stop him. Instead, he uses boxing to stay active.

“They say when you have Parkinson’s you have to stay moving,” adds Hardin.

Harry and his wife donated $100,000 Saint Joseph. Half of that money will go towards programs like Rock Steady Boxing, which is a program that helps those who are afflicted with the disease.

Parkinson’s disease is an illness that affects your movements, speech, and other sensory functions.

“What’s interesting about the boxing program is that the people who developed it recognized that the actions people take in boxing cause them to be both stay more limber in their arms,” says Doctor Roberta Luskin-Hawk, Chief Executive of St. Joseph Health.

“They have to create some balance in their core strength.”

Through boxing, it also helps with the mental and emotional state of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Harry says, it’s through this program he’s been able to take back control. He feels like this disease hasn’t defeated him. If anything, it’s given him more motivation.

St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial will be the only two hospitals in Northern California to be offering these types of programs.