North River YMCA receives 20 Echelon bikes for its Pedaling for Parkinson’s program

North River YMCA receives 20 Echelon bikes for its Pedaling for Parkinson’s program

The North River YMCA received 20 Echelon bikes for its Pedaling for Parkinson’s program. The program is designed to improve quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease.

This program has grown at the YMCA for over 10 years. Megan Vermeer, the YMCA's Director of Health Innovations and Corporate Relationships, said she is excited to see the expand program even more.

"We are so grateful for Echelon to donate these beautiful bikes to our program for us to continue to expand and serve more people,” Verneer said.

She said she has seen this program change lives.

"For folks who are dealing with Parkinson's, outside of hospital visits and therapies, they really didn't have anywhere else to go," Verneer said. "When we started this program, the community just began to flourish."

Vermeer said though there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, exercise is the best medicine.

Vermeer said, "If the participants can come at least three times a week, and ride 60 minutes with a pretty swift cadence, and at 80-90 RPM, they can see a reduction in signs and symptoms by 35%."

Jama Oliver, an Echelon representative, said, "To see now that they've got room for 20 members to come in and work out in their own special space is just incredible and on brand new bikes. It's amazing!”

Oliver says her first job in fitness was leading Pedaling for Parkinson's at the YMCA… she then went on to become an Echelon instructor.

Oliver said her mother had Parkinson’s disease, so she was determined to have the Echelon CFO approve the donation of these bikes for the YMCA’s program.

"I told him my story. I told him how important it was to me. I told him that it was personal," Oliver said. "This is why I'm in fitness to begin with. He said, 'Absolutely- No question!'"

Coy Browder, a participant in the program, said he really enjoys it.

"It's a good time! It's helped me a lot!” Browder said.

He has attended for the past seven years.

"I think it's helped a lot in keeping me going and keep keeping me active," Browder said.

To get involved with Pedaling for Parkinson's, call the North River YMCA at (423) 877-3517.

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