Skip to main content
Trainer guiding an older man through exercises

Supporting Those With Parkinson's Disease

When I originally started working for the YMCA of Greater Omaha, I knew I wanted to make a difference in people's lives. I never realized how much the YMCA would shape the person I am today, and I'd like to think it's because of the amazing people I have met along the way. We encounter so many walks of life and everyone has their own story. Today, I'm here to share how the YMCA continues to impact those in our community, especially those with Parkinson's disease.

I never really knew about Parkinson's disease until my time at the YMCA. I knew the YMCA offered a community-based program that was meant to help those with Parkinson's in our community move better in their daily lives and improve their quality of life. But what exactly is this program all about? What exactly is Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that currently affects 1 million people in the United States and 6 million people worldwide. 60,000 people are diagnosed each year. Parkinson's disease is caused by the loss of dopamine producing neurons in the brain. With the loss of these dopamine cells, we begin to see symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, slow movement, decreased mobility, loss of balance, difficulty managing daily tasks, cognitive changes, and so on. No two people are alike. The symptoms vary from person to person. Parkinson's is an incurable disease, but there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms. One of the best things to do is to continue moving your body. 

This is where I believe the YMCA plays a vital role. By offering the Brain and Body program (formerly known as Delay the Disease), we can help improve the quality of life of our participants. We focus on mobility and strength, thereby empowering our participants. We currently offer this program weekly at 5 of our metro locations:

  • Maple Street YMCA
  • Sarpy YMCA
  • Southwest YMCA
  • Westview YMCA
  • YMCA Healthy Living Center

It has truly been a rewarding experience to see this program grow over the years and to see the number of lives we have impacted. This program allows us to provide support and resources for those who are living with Parkinson's disease.

I'm hoping by the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of this disease, as well as our Brain and Body program, so that we can continue to build awareness around Parkinson's disease together.

McCall K., Health & Wellness Director (Maple Street YMCA & Butler-Gast YMCA)


“When Larry started participating in the program in August 2022, he wasn’t talking, a symptom of his Parkinson’s diagnosis. He is a regular and has made tremendous changes in his quality of life. Now, he is speaking and participating in the class. Recently, we asked everyone in the class about something they would put on their pizza that no one else would add, and Larry – a chocolate lover – said he would add chocolate. It was amazing to see how much he has grown in just a few short months and to see him speaking. He has found a community. We look forward to his continued participation and growth.”

–Lois Turner, Brain and Body

female trainer smiling

McCall currently serves as the Health & Wellness Director at the Maple Street YMCA and the Butler-Gast YMCA. As a holistic health and wellness professional, she is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellbeing in all aspects of their lives. She is a firm believer in self-development and mindfulness.

McCall loves to consider herself a lifelong learner, which has led her on quite the journey. McCall holds various certifications that have helped shape her into the health and wellness professional that she is today. To name a few, McCall is a Certified Personal Trainer, Functional Training Specialist, Registered 200 HR Yoga Teacher, Meditation Practitioner, and Holistic Life Coach. When McCall is not at the YMCA, you can find her listening to podcasts, spending time with family, and teaching yoga in the community.  

To connect with McCall, please email: