By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
First-ever local Parkinson’s Community Walk set
Juvenile Services encourages pre-registration for event
Jack Bowman
Jack Bowman, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2010, is helping his colleagues at Juvenile Services organize the Parkinson’s Community Walk. The event will include Tai Chi and Cardio Boxing classes. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

A short time after a local woman asked Jack Bowman about his experiences with Parkinson’s Disease, a light bulb came on.

As program advocate at Juvenile Services, Bowman had been looking for a community-service project that he and his colleagues could organize.

“I got to wondering how many people, who are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, have questions about the resources available to them,” recalled Bowman, who was diagnosed in 2010. “This led to the planning of a Parkinson’s Community Walk to help raise awareness. We encourage the community to participate in this first-ever local event.”

Clients at Juvenile Services will be on hand to distribute water, and help with set-up and cleanup.

“Our staff and clients are happy to help with this and other community projects,” Bowman commented. “We are eager to share time and information with our neighbors to make our community a better place to live.”

Juvenile Services is coordinating with the Parkinson’s Foundation in planning the walk, which is set for Saturday, April 27 at Jack Kilby Square in downtown Great Bend.

Registration, which is free, opens at 9 a.m. and the walk starts a half-hour later. Donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation are optional and walkers do not need to solicit sponsors.

Two highlights will be a 10 a.m. Tai Chi class, presented by Dee Krier of Great Bend Rec, and the 11 a.m. Cardio Boxing class, presented by Christopher Flores. Equipment is provided by Central Plains Karate.

“You can walk as much or as little as you want – one lap or many laps around the square,” Bowman said. “If you only want to participate in one or both classes, that is fine with us.”

Pre-registration is highly encouraged so that organizers can get a headcount and deal with waivers that must be signed for the classes. To register visit: www.parkinson/great bend or stop in at the Juvenile Services offices, 1800 12th, Great Bend. The number is 620-7931930

Classes/more information

Tai Chi and Cardio Boxing entail movements that are helpful to those with Parkinson’s.

“Actually, they can benefit anyone of any age,” Bowman noted. “They involve multi-tasking, bilateral movements, focus and brain/body connections, while engaging multiple parts of the brain simultaneously.

“These are the reasons Tai Chi and Cardio Boxing are therapeutic for people with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disorders and issues with the central nervous system. A lot of the symptoms are the same and those with these diseases face similar challenges.”

Parkinson’s affects the brain and causes difficulty with movements.

Symptoms, which can vary widely, include tremors, stiffness and slowness of movement. Each affects daily activities and quality of life.

In addition, some non motor symptoms include sleep disturbances, mood changes and cognitive challenges. 

Bowman expressed gratitude to Office Products Inc., which donated printing services for the walk. He also hopes to secure a food truck for the event.

20th Judicial District Juvenile Services empowers youth in Barton, Rice, Ellsworth, Stafford and Russell counties to achieve positive outcomes by offering Juvenile Intake & Assessment, Immediate Intervention, Intensive Supervised Probation, Case Management, Journey to Change, Life Skills, All Stars and Youth Crew. Parents and guardians also are offered The Parent Project. Visit 1800 12th in Great Bend or call 620793-1930.