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Pickleball Zone partners with Destination Rehab and OSU-Cascades to teach Parkinson’s patients the sport

(Update: adding video and comments from Destination Rehab, OSU-Cascades student and client)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Monday marked the end of a new eight-week course for Parkinson’s patients to learn to play pickleball.

Pickleball for Parkinson's is a project involving Destination Rehab, a Central Oregon nonprofit that works with patients who have neurological diseases and impairments such as strokes, Parkinson's, MS and brain injuries.

Carol-Ann Nelson, founder of Destination Rehab, said, “Pickleball requires so much movement and stepping and reaching that we thought it was a perfect pairing to try and work with people with Parkinson's to get them moving better, help them feel more confident, as well as teaching them a fun new activity that they could potentially do with friends and family. ”

OSU-Cascades and four doctorate candidates in physical therapy partnered with Destination Rehab to research the impact of a pickleball wellness program on the quality of life and balance for people with Parkinson’s.

The students are researching the impact of the pickleball wellness program on the quality of life and balance for people with Parkinson’s.

The OSU-Cascade students, including Michelle Peterschimdt, are excited to research and see the clients connect with each other.

“So it's been really cool to see them come together as a community," she said. "There is seven participants in our group, and it's just been really fun to see them get to know each other, and really hoping that they continue to play pickleball and continue this community after this program is done. ”

One of the class members, Paul Taylor, was diagnosed with Parkinson's earlier this year. Taylor saw the study and wanted to know more.

“And I like playing pickleball, and I heard about the study," he said. "And so I decided to participate and see if I could learn anything about myself and the condition.”

By Taylor being around others with Parkinson's and physical therapists, he is able to learn the extent of the things he can and can’t do.

“I appreciate the opportunity to meet other people who are dealing with Parkinson's, because it's different for everyone," he said. "And maybe some of the things that you didn't even know were affecting you are affecting you, and you don't know that unless you hear other people talk about it, and what their challenges and successes are. So it's been great for me.”

The sessions are covered by the members of the Pickleball Zone. The second eight-week, two-hour program begins next month.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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Dylan Anderman

Dylan Anderman is sports reporter for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Dylan here.


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