Our Featured PD Gladiator: Richard Roeder

richard-roederRichard Roeder, our featured PD Gladiator, seems mild-mannered upon first meeting, but he is a fighter. First diagnosed with Parkinson’s in October 2014, the Cumming resident joined the Boxing Training for PD program operated by Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation about a year ago on the recommendation of his neurologist, Dr. Barry McCasland. He struggled for a month in the intense Level I/II class before head trainer Paul Delgado suggested that he join the slower-paced Level III/IV class, which features more seated exercise and no running.
While he felt it was an accurate assessment, Richard says, “My goal was to rejoin the Level I/II class.”

With the encouragement of his wife, Sharon, he attended classes religiously and worked hard to meet his goal. “She’s an invaluable drill instructor and motivator,” Richard says. “With her assistance all things seem possible.”

Richard has attended 90 classes in the past year–more than anyone else who started any of the classes we track attendance for during that year–and the dedication has paid off. At the end of August, Richard rejoined the Level I/II class, and you can usually find him at Delgado Boxing Gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays fighting alongside friends.

“I feel very fortunate to have found a very dedicated group of professionals who help guide me along this path,” Richard says. “The camaraderie among class members inspires me to continue working hard at beating Parkinson’s.”

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