Jennifer Parkinson

jennifer@neuroboxing.org
Jennifer Parkinson is co-founder of NeuroBoxing, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding Parkinson’s patients and their families in fighting back against Parkinson’s Disease (PD) through non-contact boxing and other wellness therapies. She is a registered nurse of 16 years, a Michael J Fox foundation panelist, advocate for the Parkinson Disease Foundation’s Women in Parkinsons Initiative, boxing coach, program designer for assisted living residents with PD, and loving mother of two.

In 2005, Jennifer was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease. She was 32 years old, a working registered nurse, and had just given birth to her second child. In the two years leading up to this diagnosis, she began to notice tremors, muscle rigidity, and freezing, symptoms she would later find were characteristic of Parkinson’s Disease. Jennifer refused to see her debilitative diagnosis as fixed, and actively researched treatments. Research, that would lead her to noncontact, therapeutic boxing.

In 2009, Jennifer decided to take her first shot at boxing and walked into world-champion kickboxer Dale Jacoby‘s boxing studio in Agoura Hills. Jennifer worked with Mr. Jacoby through grueling forced intense exercise routines and eventually her body began to respond positively and her symptoms began to decrease. During this time she became convinced of the special ability boxing has to improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s disease and went on to create, promote, and work with multiple boxing/Parkinson’s organizations including Rock Steady Boxing and Title Boxing Club Newbury Park.

In 2013, Jennifer connected with Rock Steady Boxing in Indianapolis (another organization hoping to improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s Disease) and became a certified Rock Steady Boxing Coach. She consulted with Anne Adams to create the first Rock Steady Boxing affiliate in Costa Mesa, CA. Then, when a local boxing gym opened in Newbury Park, California, Jennifer, Josh Ripley, and Lisa Oliver took the lead in starting Title Boxing Club Newbury Park’s PD Fighters Program. The program quickly grew from 15 members in 2014 to over 90 members in 2016.

Since her diagnosis, Jennifer has continued to push herself physically and her abilities have continued to improve. In 2015, she joined the “10 Mountains 10 Years” project and climbed Mt Etna in Italy, an active volcano which stands at just under 11,000 feet. Jennifer became a U.S. Ambassador for 10 Mountains 10 years, whose mission is to raise worldwide awareness for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. She went on to become the “10 Mountains 10 Years” documentary narration coordinator.

Ms. Parkinson is an advocate for the Michael J Fox Foundation and was chosen as an opening panelist at the Foundation’s Partners in Parkinson’s events in Pasadena & San Diego in 2014 and 2015, respectively. She also works closely with the Parkinson Disease Foundation’s 1st Women in Parkinson’s program and will be introducing a women’s program in her community in the upcoming year. She has been featured in multiple media outlets such as Ventura County Star, CNN Radio, NPR, SHAPE magazine, Telemundo, and Fabletics for her outreach and advocacy. Jennifer and her programs have also been highlighted in news segments on CBS, NBC & Fox News Los Angeles. Jennifer helped prepare Anne Hathaway for "Love and Other Drugs," (2010) a major motion picture which tells the story of a young woman with Young Onset Parkinson's disease.

In addition to boxing and mountain climbing, Jennifer enjoys running and spending time with her kids. They currently reside in Newbury Park, CA.
Josh Ripley, Co-Founder of Neuroboxing, is an elite fitness trainer, nutrition consultant, martial arts master, & a highly motivating and infectious personality. He began studying Taekwondo at the age of 5, and has trained in and mastered a multitude of martial arts including Hapkido, Muay Thai, Subak, Kickboxing, and Western Boxing over the course of 32 years.

At the age of 18, Josh began his career in the United States Army and was deployed to Korea, Bosnia, and various bases across the United States over his six years of service. After his experiences in the U.S. Army, Josh took on his undergraduate career at California State University, Northridge. Josh had an interest in sports psychology and earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Kinesiology.

After Josh’s K1 fighting career, he was fortunate enough to work and train with fighting professionals such as Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, Kelly Pavlik, Mikey Garcia, and Robert Garcia. Subsequently, Josh has worked at various boxing and health and fitness facilities and started his own successful private-security and risk analysis company, Parliament.

Besides co-founding Neuro-Boxing, Josh has created and spearheaded other projects specifically targeting neurodegenerative diseases including PD Fighters at Title Boxing Club Newbury Park (Co-Founder) and Neurobiking, a pilot Tandem Biking program for people with Parkinson’s disease. Josh has experience working with people affected by neurodegenerative disorders, cognitive impairment, developmental disabilities, and other mental health conditions. Josh has spoken at multiple Parkinson’s disease conferences and was chosen to deliver a TED Talk in 2016. He plans to continue to pursue other strategies and platforms to help those affected, as well as, the families of those affected by these illnesses.

Josh is Rock Steady Boxing, CPR and First Aid, and NASM certified. He enjoys martial arts, outdoor adventures, helping others, adventure/obstacle races, long walks on the beach, and restaurants.