Each year, approximately 50,000 people across the world are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and the disease affects 4 to 6 million people at any given time. Muhammad Ali was one of those people, but his will to live allowed him to fight the disease and become an inspiration to others for more than 3 decades. Fort Myers Parkinson’s care takes a look inside Ali’s powerful battle.
Ali Raised Parkinson’s Awareness
Muhammad Ali may have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but he remained selfless and brave during his fight with the disease. The awareness he brought to the disease helped the Parkinson’s community in a great way. Before Ali’s appearance at the 1996 Summer Olympics, many people were not as aware of the disease as they should have been. However, Ali disclosed one of his closely guarded secrets when the torch was passed to his trembling body. The crowd was stunned but continued to cheer Ali on, and many people began to research Parkinson’s to learn how it could impact them and their families.
He Instilled a Sense of Pride in Others Managing the Disease
Ali was not ashamed of his condition, and said as much when he went on live television in 1991 for an interview with Bryant Gumbel. Although his speech was slurred and Gumbel had to strain to understand him, Ali continued to have the heart of a champion. His smile may have been replaced with a frozen expression, but his courage was just as strong throughout his battle with Parkinson’s as it had been when he was fighting in the boxing ring. During interviews and public appearances people could see Ali was not going to let the disease get the best of him. This pride and strength has helped other people with Parkinson’s continue to fight through their illness.
He Attended Parkinson’s Charity Events
One of the fundraising events Ali attended took place almost 3 months prior to his death in June 2016. The Celebrity Fight Night event was held to raise money that would go toward funding research for Parkinson’s. Even though Ali had stayed away from the spotlight for a few years to spend time with his family and friends, he felt raising money to fund a cure and medical treatments was worth the appearance. This showed his incredible strength to do everything possible to help others with Parkinson’s disease.
He Had a Great Caregiver
Parkinson’s changes the lives of caregivers as well. Medications for the disease can impact cognitive ability, mobility, and speech, making it difficult for families to provide the care their elderly loved ones need. However, Ali’s wife Lonnie refused to allow the disease to negatively affect her marriage or her family. By refraining from being bitter, Lonnie Ali did not add guilt to the other emotions her husband experienced after his diagnosis. Family caregivers in Fort Myers and the rest of the country can adopt this same sense of selflessness to make living with the disease a little easier for their loved ones.
The fight against Parkinson’s doesn’t end with Muhammad Ali. Your elderly loved one can have a higher quality of life with the help of Fort Myers Home Care Assistance. Our Parkinson’s caregivers can assist your loved one with a wide array of daily tasks, including exercise, bathing, meal prep, and light housekeeping. For more information on the in-home senior care Fort Myers, FL, families trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers today at 239.449.4701.