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How Muhammad Ali Went Several Rounds with Parkinson’s Disease

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

No matter how good any modern day boxer is, fans of the sport will always compare him or her to Muhammad Ali. Earning the nickname “The Greatest”, he was a heavyweight champion, won an Olympic gold medal and was dubbed “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated. During the later part of his career, he began experiencing some unusual symptoms that would later lead doctors to diagnose him with Parkinson’s. He was in his early 40s when he went public with the news, but he would never let it define him. Instead, he would go on to inspire numerous seniors and their Nashville home caregivers to live life to the fullest in spite of the disease.

Even after receiving the diagnosis, he committed his time and energy to inspiring people to be kind and fight in the face of adversity. Ali used his influence to speak privately with Saddam Hussein about releasing 15 American hostages before the start of the Gulf War. Although it wasn’t a popular decision, he was successful in his efforts. Not only was Ali a humanitarian, but he became an accomplished author. Though he had a difficult time using his hands, it didn’t stop him from writing his own autobiography. The book later became a nationwide bestseller. Ali would go on to surprise people around the world by returning to the 1996 Olympic opening ceremony to light the torch with a trembling hand.

The rapid progression of Parkinson’s disease left Ali feeling confused and frail at times, but he made certain that fans knew he would keep fighting the good fight. When he appeared at the 2012 Olympics, his wife helped him stand as he waved the Olympic flag proudly in the air, letting all who saw know that he may have been down but he wasn’t out. Though Ali passed away in June of 2016, he was able to raise millions of dollars for Parkinson’s research and even opened up the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, AZ, to help people all over the world seek treatment and support while managing PD.

If Muhammad Ali taught us anything, it’s that seniors with Parkinson’s disease can still lead full and active lives. Help your loved one accomplish this goal by calling Nashville Home Care Assistance at (615) 656-4999. As a leading provider of at-home care, we customize care plans to help seniors with PD live with their disease with grace and dignity. In addition to encouraging emotional wellbeing, our professional caregivers help seniors with numerous tasks including mobility training, grooming, bathing, and more. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to learn how we can help your loved one.