The Murph Challenge Day 18: Donna Steinhouse and Nancy Whitmore

Day 18 of 31 is dedicated to Donna Steinhouse and Nancy Whitmore. They both have Parkinson’s Disease and have been attending boxing classes together with me for years. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Nearly one million Americans and over 10 million people worldwide are living with PD.

Donna (pictured on left) started attending Parkinson’s classes shortly after I started the program back in 2016. The only thing proven to slow down the progression of PD is regular intense exercise workouts. “This class is the best thing for me,” she says. Donna has had PD for 15 years and stopped driving many years ago. After about a year of taking classes she was having a hard time finding a regular ride to class. That was the exact time that Nancy (pictured on right) had started the program and offered to give Donna a ride each day. These two have been inseparable ever since. Attending 4 classes a week together before the pandemic, hopping on Zoom classes together during the pandemic, and back to regular classes in person together now.

Nancy, who is 83 years young, is a resilient fighter. She had her hip replaced two years ago and was back in class 3 1/2 weeks later. “I feel better when I’m here. I need to keep coming,” she told me. I love that they are both brutally honest with me and always tell me what they like and don’t like. They are also my biggest fans along the way: “I want to tell you about our trainer, Mr. Tate, he is the BEST instructor I ever had. Kind, helpful, but he pushes us hard. I don’t know how Mr. Tate can remember all of our names – there are over 40 of us – but he does.” – Donna

Together these two are quite the team. Friends and workout accountability partners. Fighters of a disease they didn’t deserve and focused on improving themselves every time they step in the door together.

It’s examples of incredible fighters like Donna and Nancy that this nonprofit exists. Connecting people fighting battles like Parkinson’s Disease to a health and wellness community is so important for them. Community lifts them up, gives them someone to lean on, and reminds them they are never fighting alone.

Every Day We Fight is honored to dedicate today to two amazing ladies. My friends, Donna and Nancy.

Day 18 Murph Time: 28:47

When I did the Murph Challenge for the first time I became hooked. Not because it was fun but because it was painful, challenging, and meaningful.

These 31 challenges are a dedication to a fighter, a warrior, a person battling that’s an everyday hero.

– Tate Wheeler

“The Murph Challenge is more than just a workout. It is a tradition that helps push us, humble us, and allows us the opportunity to dedicate a bit of pain and sweat to honor, LT. Michael P. Murphy, a man who sacrificed everything he had for our freedom.”

-Murph Website

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