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Local boxing champ uses training to help fight Parkinson's Disease

Posted at 6:34 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 18:34:34-04

When Anthony Musilli first started training with Parkinson's Boxing at Fitness Factory in Kenmore, he couldn't even stand up on his own. Musilli has Parkinson's Disease, so his coach needed to hold him up throughout each workout.

"Dean was with me side by side," he said. "Making sure I didn't fall over."

15 months later, you wouldn't be able to recognize that Anthony Musilli. Now he's able to walk, run and do most of the boxing workouts at the gym. All of it is possible, he says, because of the help from his coaches.

"I figured I'd be in a wheelchair by now and I'm not," Musilli said. "I'm able to do a lot of the things that are happening down here. I'm very impressed."

Wendy Casey is a championship boxer who fights with the U.S. National Team and hopes to compete in the 2020 Olympics. Casey and her coach Dean Eoannou use their expertise to help improve the symptoms of people battling Parkinson's Disease.

Through one-on-one workouts, designed to help each customer's specific symptoms, Casey and Eoannou put people through a rigorous session. Once they build up skills and are able to complete the workouts, Casey says it makes "going home and walking that much easier".

"Parkinson's isn't just a physical disease," Casey explained. "That's just what you see. It's actually a brain disease. So you have to challenge the brain and you have to challenge their mind to make them think about complex actions."

Dean Eoannou says he's helped around 45 people since starting this work 15 months ago. Every single person has shown improvements in their symptoms, he said.

"The fight here is for quality of life," Eoannou said. "Fighters are fighting for whatever, the title or the next fight. Wendy's fight is obviously different than Tony's. Tony is fighting for quality of life."

Parkinson's Disease is a progressive disorder that attacks the nervous system and affects movement.

For more information about Parkinson's Boxing you can visit the website here or call (716) 348-2823.