Health Check: Rock Steady Boxing being offered in Pawtucket - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Health Check: Rock Steady Boxing being offered in Pawtucket

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Michael Quaglia punches the bag at Fight to Fitness in Pawtucket. Michael Quaglia punches the bag at Fight to Fitness in Pawtucket.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -

Michael Quaglia is gearing up for a Rock Steady Boxing class he'll help teach Saturday.

To look at him, you might never know he has Parkinson's disease, which was diagnosed almost eight years ago.

His symptoms got so bad, that a few months ago he did some research and found a video on Michael J. Fox's website for Rock Steady Boxing.

"After watching it, I think I cried for about 10 minutes," Quaglia said.

That's because people who were doing it saw improvement in their symptoms. Quaglia contacted professional boxer Richard Gingras who owns Fight to Fitness in Pawtucket.

"When I first met him, he had significantly worse symptoms," Gingras said. "He was shaking. He had to hold onto his arm. His speech was a lot lower with some stuttering. I had no idea. I didn't know anything about Parkinson's."

But Gingras wanted to know more, especially about Rock Steady Boxing. Gingras and Quaglia flew to Indianapolis where a workout for Parkinson's patients was developed by a former prosecutor who was diagnosed with the disease.

"It was a very emotional situation for me. I didn't think it was going to be that emotional," Gingras said.

So Quaglia and Gingras are bringing the workout to Southern New England. The proof that it works is the results that Quaglia sees.

"My balance, my speech, my coordination, my confidence is back. I feel like I can do anything again," Quaglia said.

Quaglia and Gingras are hoping to help others.

The first class is scheduled for Saturday at the Fight for Fitness gym in Pawtucket. It's open to all Parkinson's patients, no matter the severity.

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