Parkinson’s patients lead the pack in cycling class


For 120 grueling minutes a week, Kim Spletter leads the pack, keeping her riders rolling.

“You’re looking excellent! Keep up the pace,” Spletter shouted.

By the looks of it, you would never know the people pumping these pedals face the same challenge.

“I don’t see any of these people as people with Parkinson’s. We’re all just here working through this and we’re having a good time with it,” class member, Jackie Thomas said.

Previously, WHAG introduced you to Kim and her story. She received a breakthrough treatment from the University of Maryland Medical Center six months ago. Now, the woman who could barely walk is teaching a cycling class.

“I knew there was a need for it in the community, and we need to get the word out,” she said. “Spinning and cycling has helped so much with my Parkinson’s.”

The tremors, shakes and dizziness all melt away when they’re riding.

Diagnosed with a disease where their emotions were tried, they decide to get together, lift their spirits and ride.

“It feels smooth, and smooth movements are not something I’m used to everyday,” Thomas said.

Class members said they are moving their muscles and motivating their minds, too.

“Kim is a dazzling lady,” class member, Will Dyke said in between tears, “I can’t do everything that they’re doing, but she just says, ‘do what you can.’”

Spletter said she learns something new about Parkinson’s with every class.

“For many years, people with illness try to hide it, and I think we’re in a new generation where people are meeting it head on,” Spletter said. “They’re not going to let it slow them down. We’re going to keep moving.”

The Pedaling for Parkinson’s class is taught twice a week at the Frederick YMCA. Anyone is welcomed to join the class.

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