LA Tech starts new Parkinson's Resource Center

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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Barbara Hogg is fighting for a healthier life. She's among the million people in the United States with Parkinson's Disease. She's had it for 26 years.

"So I go to a movement disorder doctor,” Hogg said. “My feet cramp a lot."

She comes all the way from El Dorado to Louisiana Tech with her husband David for rock steady boxing. Hogg says it's good therapy for her movement disorder.

"We just learn how to box and how to fight and make our Parkinson's not better. It doesn't make it better. It just makes you more able to cope with it."

Luckily for Hogg, more resources are on the way for people with Parkinson's. The chair of Louisiana Tech's nursing division just got a $7,500 grant from the Parkinson's foundation for a new center to help connect people with resources.

"We do have a physical location, but the majority of our work is going to be outreach,” Donna Hood said.” “Making connections with people who contact us, doing outreach the people who are in the parishes around north Louisiana and south Arkansas."

Hood says the center will promote a healthy Parkinson's community. Students are involved too.

"It really affects these people everyday lives,” said Shelby Strong. “The freezing, sometimes they can't walk through doors. Sometimes they can't finish their sentences. Their handwriting becomes smaller. It affects maybe driving. Everyday tasks become more difficult for these people."

The program teaches them ways to improve the lives of people with Parkinson's Disease. And for that, Hogg says she's grateful.

"It's just wonderful to be able to go in a room where there's nothing but Parkinson's patients and you know you're with somebody else,” Hogg said. “You're not the only one.

About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's every year and there is no cure.

For more information contact Donna Hood at parkinsonresourcecenter@latech.edu or 318-257-2514.