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A Tribute to the World’s Greatest: Muhammad Ali

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

Muhammad Ali fought many great fights during his lifetime as a heavyweight champ. He won the gold medal in 1960 that would internationally launch his career and took part in epic match-ups, such as the legendary “Thrilla in Manila” fight between Ali and Joe Frazier. In addition to his boxing career, Ali was an outspoken voice during the Civil Rights Movement. However, Ali had his own personal fight against a degenerative disease called Parkinson’s. It would be a fight that would last the remainder of his lifetime and inspire millions of PD patients and in-home caregivers in Omaha and around the world.

Ali retired from the ring in 1981 and began to exhibit unusual symptoms shortly thereafter. Three years later, he was officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Much less was known about Parkinson’s then, which is why it took years to officially diagnose him. Many medical professionals at the time speculated it was the result of repeated head injuries he sustained during his incredible boxing career. The champ may have retired from the ring, but he had one last fight to endure.

In the ring, Ali was known for his graceful movements and outspoken demeanor. He would recite poetry predicting in which round he would knock out his opponents. Unfortunately, as his disease progressed, these attributes took a hit. His speech became slurred. His body moved involuntarily and he experienced tremors. Even though the disease would eventually take away Ali’s ability to speak, it became evident that he was still able to inspire others without saying a word.

Ali could have gone into hiding after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Instead, he chose to continue being an inspiration to those with degenerative diseases in addition to dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers in Omaha, NE. During the 1996 Olympic Games, he proudly held the torch in his trembling hand, showing the world he would not shy away from the spotlight just because he had Parkinson’s. For the rest of his life, he attended many charity events to raise money Parkinson’s research and resources, using his famous name to bring awareness. His family and close friends say he possessed a positive outlook on life in spite of his condition, which showed the world why he was “the Greatest of All Times”.

If Muhammad Ali taught us anything, it’s to fight in the face of adversity. No matter how PD is affecting your loved one, Home Care Assistance in Lincoln will customize a care plan that suits his or her individual needs. To help your loved one overcome the challenges of Parkinson’s, our experienced caregivers offer in-home assistance with daily activities including mobility support, physical therapy, personal care and more. Call a compassionate Care Manager at (402) 261-5158 today to learn more about our Parkinson’s services and set up a complimentary consultation.