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Mayor of Greenwood talks about Parkinson’s diagnosis

RTV6 Exclusive
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Posted at 7:03 AM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 07:24:39-05

GREENWOOD — For several weeks, the Mayor of Greenwood noticed a slight tremor and thought it was caused by a pinched nerve from a previous surgery.

In October, the Parkinson's disease diagnosis was official.

"It affects more people than you really realize that it does," Mayor Mark Myers said. "When I got hit with it, it took the wind out of sails to tell you the truth."

In December, he made public his situation and his plan to face it straight on by spending at least three times a week at '9 Round' in Greenwood.

There, in a circuit-style routine, he goes through nine rounds of specific exercises.

Every three minutes, the buzzer alerts him to the next workout. The goal is to target his agility, his flexibility, and build-up his muscle mass — all to deal with the Parkinson's.

"I'm in the public eye. They are going to see my handshake — they are going to see something going on," Mayor Myers said. "I want them to know it's okay. It's nothing to hide from. It's nothing to be afraid of."

The mayor is one to sweat the details, especially while focused on his city's progress, and now his health.

"I'm gonna fight it — I'm not going to let it get me down," Myers said.

Myers is focused on the Cummins Engine project, which is set to create 500 jobs in Greenwood. The mayor has called it the biggest economic development in city history.

The mayor is also really hoping to educate others about Parkinson's. He is 57-years-old, and the average age to see the neurological disease is 60. But, about ten percent of patients are diagnosed with Parkinson's before the age of 50.

The primary symptom of Parkinson's includes tremors. The Indiana Parkinson's Foundation can connect you to services and programs to help with that. You can reach them at 317-550-5648.

Kim Williams, IPF executive director, said this of the disease:

"There is not a cure today but we are hopeful that in the next few years there will be and until then showing the progression with exercise, medication, amd staying plugged in with Parkinson's community helps those with the disease from becoming isolated and keeps them in a positive mindset."