Pine Community Center hosting program to combat Parkinson's - PineCreek Journal

Pine Community Center hosting program to combat Parkinson’s

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 1:30 AM

A national program founded in Ohio designed to help Parkinson’s disease patients is now being offered at the Pine Community Center.

Delay the Disease was founded 14 years ago by David Zid, a certified fitness instructor from Columbus, Ohio, and Jackie Russell, a longtime nurse. The program is designed to help with the many symptoms of the disease and the related struggles that can arise, such as difficulty getting out of bed or getting out of the car and keeping one’s balance. It includes not only exercises to raise the heart rate and improve core and muscle strength but also what they call Delay the Disease brain work.

“You’re reprogramming the brain to move bigger, talk in a louder voice, take a bigger step,” Zid said. “We’ll do that after the cardio, then some strength work and as you get stronger you can move better, and if your brain is also being trained to move better as well, it eventually starts to compound on itself.”

The program follows a six-week schedule, and the first class started at the community center May 13. Classes are held twice a week, and the next session begins June 24.

Mick Sandora became certified to teach Delay the Disease after being approached by community center managers. A senior himself, Sandora said he’s excited by the opportunity to help others.

He said the class also stresses combining brain exercises with physical exercises.“So we may count by threes or fours or eights, or I may ask you to take a step forward with your left foot and name a city, and then take a step forward with your right foot and name a state,” he said. “Or maybe it’s naming famous TV stars as we do a skill, or if we do bicep curls instead of counting we’ll say characters from ‘M*A*S*H’ or ‘Bonanza.’ ”

He also teaches the “tricks” that can help with common issues for Parkinson’s patients, like getting up from a seated position or even getting oneself up off the floor after a fall.

Zid and Russell both have a myriad of success stories, they said, of people who’ve been helped by the program. Russell first got involved based on what she saw from a surgeon with whom she used to work who retired because of his symptoms. Two years later, she saw him again, and his symptoms were nearly gone when all he’d been doing was training with Zid. The two did some research and were convinced Zid’s methods were the cause.

“That’s how I became a believer,” she said. “When we started with a very small class and saw what it did to people, how it changed their attitude and how the family responded, that’s what grew it.”

Anyone who might be interested should come check it out, Sandora said, adding that no one will be required to do anything they don’t feel comfortable doing and that he can work with people one-on-one.

The fee for members is $35 and for non-members it is $50. For more information visit or call the community center at 724-625-1636.