A generous gift is allowing the Valley of the Sun JCC to expand its Parkinson’s disease fitness program.
The program will now be called the Harold and Jean Grossman Parkinson’s Program at The J, thanks to a gift from local philanthropist Jean Grossman.
“To see an already successful initiative expand to offer additional classes and resources is truly an honor and I am grateful to be able to help advance the expansion of this important community endeavor,” Jean Grossman said in a press release.
Grossman has a personal connection with Parkinson’s disease; she lost her husband, Harold, to complications from Parkinson’s in 2005.
The J’s Parkinson’s program began in 2016, when personal trainer Lynn Staub wanted to create a course for her growing number of clients living with Parkinson’s.
“In training members who have Parkinson’s, I was seeing that there was nowhere for them to go after physical therapy,” Staub said. “I thought that there should be some type of fitness program for them to progress in therapy in a comfortable environment with other people with Parkinson’s.”
Staub became certified in PWR!Moves (Parkinson’s Wellness and Recovery) with Becky Farley, who developed the exercise program used in hospitals and by physical therapists working with Parkinson’s patients.
Today, The J’s Parkinson’s program includes PWR!Moves 1 and 2, Parkinson’s Boxing, Parkinson’s Cycle, support groups and special wellness and education days for those dealing with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. Several of these offerings are in partnership with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute.
Along with adding classes to the schedule, The J plans to begin offering Parkinson’s-related nutrition classes in its new, state-of-the-art teaching kitchen.
“My heart is full knowing that the Harold and Jean Grossman Parkinson’s Program at The J will help those suffering with Parkinson’s, now and in the future,” Grossman said. “It is my hope that this program will offer help and make a difference to all who participate, and that others will be encouraged to give to this and other important J programs.” JN
For more information about the Harold and Jean Grossman Parkinson’s Program at The J, visit vosjcc.org/parkinsonsatthej.