EASTON — The YMCA of the Chesapeake will offer Rock Steady Boxing at the Easton Family YMCA at Washington to support residents of the Mid-Shore with Parkinson’s disease. “April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and I encourage anyone in our community who is fighting back against this terrible disease to learn more about Rock Steady Boxing,” said Wendy Palmer, Associate Executive Director and Rock Steady Instructor. “We are a close community that is dedicated to helping each other knock out Parkinson’s and look forward to welcoming newcomers. This program is free of charge through donations to the YMCA’s annual campaign. Without the generosity of our donors, we wouldn’t be able to offer these life-changing programs to our members and communities.” Rock Steady Boxing is a national, non-profit organization that gives people with Parkinson’s disease hope by improving their quality of life through a non-contact, boxing-based fitness curriculum. Over the past three years, the YMCA of the Chesapeake has partnered with Lyn Strzempka-Sutton, leader of Rock Steady Boxing-Mid Shore, to host classes twice a week at the Easton Family YMCA at Washington. Since starting its first class three years, ago Rock Steady at the Y has grown from four boxers to more than 15 per class. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rock Steady Boxing has continued virtually twice a week on Zoom. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative movement disorder which can cause deterioration of motor skills, balance, speech and sensory function. The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates there are more than 1 million people in the United States diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and more than 60,000 people are diagnosed each year. Since the 1980s, research has supported the notion that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength and rhythm, may be “neuro-productive,” meaning that it can help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The Rock Steady fitness curriculum puts this research into practice through adapted boxing drills that condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength. Rock Steady is designed fit the needs of men and women of all ages and at all stages of the disease, from those first diagnosed to those who are living with more advanced symptoms.