Samantha Gottlieb (left) and Lauren Granat (right) ran the NYC Marathon to raise funds for Parkinson's patients

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News Brief: Going the Extra Mile for Parkinson’s Disease

November 7, 2018

Pictured from left: NYITCOM students Samantha Gottlieb and Lauren Granat.

To help patients of NYIT’s Rock Steady Boxing program, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) students Samantha Gottlieb and Lauren Granat set out to raise $100 for each of the 26.2 miles they ran in this year’s New York City Marathon.

“This was an extremely challenging feat, but it’s nothing compared to the challenges that Parkinson's patients have to go through every single day,” said Gottlieb.

Brought to NYIT in 2016 by NYITCOM Assistant Professor and Director of NYIT’s Parkinson’s Disease Program, Adena Leder, D.O., Rock Steady Boxing is a non-contact boxing program aimed at using physical activity to alleviate some of the physical symptoms of Parkinson's disease. In addition, it provides a support group and social gathering for people experiencing similar challenges of the disease. NYITCOM and NYIT School of Health Professions students volunteer to not only help with the physical aspects of the class, but to also provide motivation and encouragement for the boxers.

Boxers reap the maximum benefits if they attend the class on a continual basis, with sessions offered three times a week. However, those unable to afford the class fee may only be able to attend once a week, or once every other week, preventing them from achieving their full potential.

Through crowdfunding, the students not only met their goal of $2,620, they exceeded it with a total of 74 donations following the race.

“This was one of the most physically taxing and emotional days ever. I never thought that I would be able to run 26 miles, let alone in the world's biggest and most famous marathon,” said Granat. “I’m so glad that Sami and I were able to exceed our fundraising goal, and make those miles even more meaningful.”

Gottileb and Granat are both medical students in the Academic Medicine Scholars Program.