Meet Nancy Van Der Stracten, a 75-year-old painter and grandmother of eight from Belgium who now lives in Turkey.
Van Der Stracten, who lives in Antalya, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease nine years ago.
She came across non-contact boxing while researching the disease. Non-contact boxing does not involve taking any punches, so there is no risk of head trauma.
“For six years, I really used much medicines and I discovered that is not enough,” Van Der Stracten told Reuters. “You have to move, move, move, and boxing is ideal to move, move, move. So we go on.”
Gym goers were shocked to see Van Der Stracten boxing when she started six years ago, but now they call her “Auntie Naciye.”
She now goes to the gym three times a week to perfect her punching and practices with her trainer Muhammed Ali Kardas.
“It does not stop your Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease. It never stops but you can slow it down,” she said. “Just go on, find a sport that you like,don’t let you close your ears because everybody says, ‘Oh, you should sit down.”