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How Muhammad Ali Fought Parkinson’s Disease

By Nikhil Mehta, 9:00 am on

During his amazing life, boxing champion Muhammad Ali made a huge impact when it came to defending the anti-war movement, the rights of the African-American community, and his own athletic ability. This Olympian gold medalist truly was the greatest in more ways than most people could ever dream.

In the last years of Ali’s life, Parkinson’s disease began to degenerate his mind and body. A Parkinson’s diagnosis would prove to be the biggest fight of Ali’s life, as it is for the approximately one million Americans it affects each year. He became an advocate for those fighting the disease and tirelessly worked to raise awareness and research money for the cause.

His most inspirational public moment was made during the 1996 Olympics when he raised his trembling arm to light the torch. Behind the scenes, Ali and his wife were dedicated to advocating for those with Parkinson’s disease and their Palm Desert home caregivers. They also dedicated themselves to doing humanitarian work with various organizations, particularly the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. 

Ali helped to fund and develop the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, part of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ. The patients at this center thought of Ali as both a boxing legend and their inspiration to live positive, active lives. Ali set a good example of how to live gracefully with Parkinson’s and encouraged people with the disease to fight. Despite the struggles, Ali motivated others to continue therapy and remain as active as possible. 

Many who have PD are hesitant about sharing their diagnosis with others. Ali’s willingness to keep in the public eye and show how someone can live life with Parkinson’s disease with dignity and grace gave hope to people all around the world. Because of his celebrity status, he was able to bring Parkinson’s to the forefront and acquire the funding necessary to research new treatments and potential cures.

Thanks to the efforts of Muhammad Ali, families and Palm Desert home care agencies are inspired to help seniors with PD live life to the fullest. Help your loved one achieve this goal by calling Home Care Assistance of Palm Desert at (760) 345-0001 today. We customize care plans to meet the needs of those with Parkinson’s, particularly in terms of mobility assistance, meal preparation, and personal care assistance. Set up a free consultation over the phone to meet with a compassionate caregiver today.