Athletic Club Begins 12-Week Pilot Program For People With Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis
May 17 17 3:51 AM
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At Newtown Athletic Club in Bucks County, inclusiveness is important, and it’s why they’ve put the UFIT program in place.
The pilot program is a 12-week program for people with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis, says Amanda Brown, director of inclusive programming at the athletic club.
“They get a free membership to the club and get to commit to personal training for those 12 weeks. They can choose once a week, twice a week, three times a week, and we’re kind of looking to measure how fitness can hopefully change their lives,” Brown said.
When Clare Myers heard about UFIT, she enrolled her 13-year-old-son, Robbie, who has cerebral palsy.
“It’s just a godsend to have some place for him to do something that is productive, that makes him feel good about himself,” Myers said. “It helps him with his own self-esteem, which I’ve seen in the last two weeks.”
Another UFIT member is Pamela Gifford, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 26 years ago.
“I have lesions in my neck and in my lower thoracic spine,” says Gifford. “So it causes restriction and pain.”
In recent years, she gained weight and decided that despite limitations, she needed to get back in shape. She’s working with trainer Andrew on specific needs.
“Strengthening my lower back and my core, so I will be a little better,” Gifford said. “And I also think my balance… he’s also gonna work on my balance.”
Gifford realizes it’s a necessary step to feel better and combat the disease. And Myers is thrilled that UFIT is giving her son an outlet to just be a kid while staying active.
“I’m trying to figure out what to do with him because he doesn’t have typical friends, he doesn’t have typical activities,” Myers said. “You can’t get him on a basketball team like his brother. But he’s got his own thing now, so it’s exciting for all of us.”
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