In the Face of Adversity

It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. – Muhammed Ali

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. had many difficult obstacles to overcome during his life. You may know him by his changed name, Muhammad Ali. While growing up in the south during the end of WWII and the beginning of the Civil Rights movement, he quickly learned the lesson of life. His red and white Schwinn bicycle was stolen. When he later reported it to police, the officer suggested Cassius take up boxing to learn how to fight, and thus—history was made.

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Had it not been for the unfortunate events surrounding his bicycle, we may have never been able to witness the glory of Muhammad Ali. During his career, Ali fought in 61 fights, winning 56 of them. Of those 56, 15 were knock outs (KO). He is the first boxer to ever claim the title, World Heavyweight Champion, three times.

In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The neurdegenarative disease took a toll on Ali, as his motor skills declined and his speech was limited. Despite his diagnosis, Muhammed Ali continued to remain in the public’s eye. He often times traveled the world, making appearances at different humanitarian and charity events. In 1990, he met with Saddam Hussein, after the ordered invasion of Kuwait, to negotiate the release of American Hostages. The 15 hostages were released after 4 months of captivity and returned to the U.S. in December of that year. Ali passed away on June 3rd, 2016 at the age of 74.

Each year, approximately 60,000 are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Worldwide, that number increases to 10 million people living with PD.  Age of onset typically begins at the age of 60.