APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – On the shores of this small pond in Appleton, a group of people are casting away their troubles.
But this is no ordinary group of people. They’re brought together by something more than just fishing.
“Parkinson’s can be a very isolating disease- people who have it don’t always know other people with the disease,” said Carolyn Hahn, Wisconsin Parkinson Association. “We’re excited to have a clinic like this where we can bring people together and they can see that they are not alone in this disease.”
“I enjoy this as something new and the people here are just wonderful,” said Linda Schlavensky, Appleton. “We’re all in the same boat, so to speak.”
Linda Schlavensky has had Parkinson Disease for eight years. Before today, she’d never tried fly fishing. But an avid fisher, she thought she’d give it a shot.
“It kind of makes everything smaller so people with Parkinson Disease need to focus on bigger movements,” said Hahn. “Exercise is really the only way to slow the progression of the disease. This kind of movement, the casting motion kind of thing, is really good for the physical strength and it also helps with balance and coordination a little bit too.”
And it’s a total, judgement free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad.
Says Schlavensky, “Every cast is a new one, right?”
All that matters is being one with the outdoors.
“When you get outside and have the freedom and the fresh air and everything, it just relaxes you,” said Schlavensky.
The Wisconsin Parkinson Association will be having another program coming up at the end of September. You can find more information online right here.