Just as Pearl Gloves fighters did to prepare for their time in the ring last year, participants in Brock’s Power Cord program work daily to push themselves past their limit.
And to help ensure those motivations remain high, the annual Las Vegas-style charity boxing event recently donated $48,000 to the wheelchair accessible exercise program at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being.
Held in November, Pearl Gloves raised $144,445 towards the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS) in Niagara. This is the third consecutive year the charity event has supported Power Cord, which has about 40 members with MS.
Power Cord offers exercise to individuals with MS, spinal cord injury and lower limb amputations, and currently has a membership of about 80 people.
Kinesiology Professor and Power Cord founder David Ditor, along with members Rowena Bella-Christman and Jasmine Rees, attended a special cheque presentation ceremony on Dec. 12, with the Pearl Gloves organizing committee.
“On behalf of the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being and the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, we extend a very sincere thank you to the Pearl Gloves organizing committee, the sponsors of the event and White Oaks Resort and Spa,” said Ditor, who also offered a “special thanks to the fighters who trained tirelessly, sacrificed their time and had the guts to step into the ring that night.”
Ditor confirmed the funds will be used to develop a nutrition program at Power Cord.
“Our facility addresses exercise very well, but you can’t outwork a bad diet, and research in our lab has shown the benefits of specialized nutrition for not only weight management, but also neuropathic pain and depression,” he explained.
Each year, more than 50 students from Brock’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences gain insight into the specific needs and challenges of those living with MS by completing experiential learning hours and volunteering to work at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being.
“It’s the students who help to make Power Cord what it is. It would be impossible to do this without them.” Ditor said. “The most important part of Power Cord is the atmosphere of encouragement and belonging, as we realize that psychosocial improvements are at least as important as the physical ones. The friendships that are formed between the members and the students are a very important component of that atmosphere.”
Most of the students working with Power Cord members are also taking Ditor’s Kinesiology course, where they learn about these conditions and the role of exercise and diet in the rehabilitation process.