Mike Crager was 42 years old when the doctor gave him the diagnosis that nearly knocked him down for the count.  After experiencing symptoms for couple years, Crager learned on that day in 2005 that he had Parkinson's Disease. After that initial reaction of despair, Crager decided to fight back--literally. 

The Monroe City coach and teacher traveled to Indiana to learn about a brand-new program called Rock Steady Boxing (RSB). https://www.rocksteadyboxing.org/  RSB is a program developed by an Indiana prosecutor diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 40, and his buddy who was a Golden Glove boxer.  They knew research showed that physical activity could slow the progression of the disease. That led to Rock Steady, which gives people with Parkinson's hope by improving their quality life through a non-contact boxing based fitness curriculum.

Crager jumped on board in those founding days and soon opened the first northeast Missouri Rock Steady Boxing Club in Monroe City. https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Health-Beauty/Rock-Steady-Boxing-Monroe-City-154070502044343/

"I realized I had to do something that would make a difference in my life and my family's life," Crager said. "I could curl up and become useless, but after attending a couple RSB classes, I knew it was going to be the difference maker in not letting this disease beat me."

His transformation and improvement was too good to keep to himself.  Today, about 20 people with Parkinson's Disease from all over the area head to his gym to fight back.

"Rock Steady Boxing has given me the direction and motivation to live life at its fullest.  I think the same can be said about my boxers in class.  RSB has made them motivated not to give up and also has given them a second family to lean on for support," Crager said.