Fighting Parkinson's one step at a time
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) —
Sixty six-year-old Mike Van Horn knows his strides are small.
"It makes me feel like I'm back and doing it even though I know it's a slow pace," Van Horn said.
He has Parkinson's Disease, which rocks his nervous system and causes his muscles to stiffen. His movement's slowed down. He has a tremor.
But running and any form of exercise, he says, helps.
"It doesn't stop the progression of the disease, but it slows it down," he said. "I feel as though I don't have the disease anymore."
He's motivated to work out everyday. Friend Dennis Baier is right by his side.
"I have so much respect for Mike for getting out here and doing these things," he said. "We're always on this constant quest to find a cure."
With April being Parkinson's Awareness Month, Van Horn decided to take things a step further.
He, Baier and friend Nick Gearhart will now train for the next month for a triathlon.
Van Horn will run. Baier will bike. Gearhart will swim.
"It gives me a sense of hope that if one day, if ever, if it were to happen to me, that I would have friends who would support me," Baier said.
For this race, finishing in record time isn't what matters, Van Horn said.
"I have no idea what time I'm going to get, but I just want to finish," he said.
"It's probably the one and only triathlon I've ever done in my life where I'm just going to do it for fun," Baier said.
The triathlon is on Sunday, June 5th, at Pleasant Creek State Park in Palo.