In 2006, thanks to private donations, Newman founded Rock Steady Boxing, the only boxing program in the USA aimed at people with Parkinson's disease. He started off with a small gym and boxing ring.
Newman hired former world champion professional boxer Kristy Rose Follmar, who helped build up Rock Steady's program during its initial stages. Today she is head trainer at Rock Steady Boxing.
The unique high-intensity boxing program gradually became more popular as word-of-mouth recommendations spread. Newman says there is a program for all stages of Parkinson's - from newly diagnosed patients to people who have been living with the disease for decades. Male and female, young and old individuals can find a program that is suitable for their levels of fitness, age, and severity of symptoms.
Newman and team explain that boxing training offers Parkinson's patients targeted workouts as well as lots of fun. It is also a way of forming friendships with other people who really do understand what it is like to have to live with Parkinson's disease.
Rock Steady Boxing is a boxing program in the USA aimed at helping people with Parkinson's disease.
Thanks to the Impact 100 grant, Rock Steady was able to gradually increase the number of classes available. Doctors started referring patients early in their diagnosis to Rock Steady sessions as part of their regime to slow down Parkinson's progression.
Rock Steady has a simple message:
"If you are living with Parkinson's, you are not alone. Our boxers may not win titles or trophies, but they are all champions in the Rock Steady Boxing ring."
Trainers can learn the Rock Steady method at Rock Steady Boxing Homepage (resource no longer available at www.rocksteadyboxing.org)