“Edith never expected to put on boxing gloves at age 91. 

Edith was born in Czechoslovakia in September 1928. Her family came to the United States in September 1939, just before she turned 11. “My grandmother had moved to the United States in 1937. With Hitler at the door, my parents knew they had to get my brother and I out, so we made our way to the United States and moved in with my grandmother. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) taught my parents English and helped them get jobs. When we had enough money, we moved to Brooklyn. After I graduated high school, I attended Brooklyn College where I earned a BA in Social Work, and then I attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where I got my master’s degree in Social Work. I got married soon after, and we moved to Philadelphia for my husband’s job. We had two children — a son and daughter. Unfortunately, my husband passed away young. I later remarried, and we moved to Cherry Hill, NJ. My second husband passed away in 1991, and I lived on my own for over 25 years. I developed a tremor in my hands about 10 years ago. It’s not Parkinson’s disease, but it’s a related neurological condition they diagnosed as ‘Essential Tremor.’ With the tremor, my handwriting deteriorated, and it is sometimes hard to eat, so I decided to move into Lions Gate in 2019. That’s when I went to the fitness center for the first time.”

“I’m the Senior Fitness Program Specialist at Lions Gate,” said Dave Correa. “I host fitness classes, water aerobics classes, and I do one-on-one personal training to help every resident stay active and healthy. After meeting Edith and seeing her hand tremors, we suggested using boxing as a therapy. Studies have shown that boxing helps those with neurological impairments increase strength, improve balance, agility, reaction time and hand-eye coordination, and improve posture. Edith has been doing boxing once a week for 30-minute sessions, and she’s doing great!”

“The boxing helps strengthen my forearm muscles, which helps with my hand control and dexterity,” said Edith. “I never exercised before I came to Lions Gate. I moved here because the staff is positive, the residents are friendly, and I knew I’d be well taken care of. I never thought moving here would turn me into a boxer. The doctors in the Wellness Center, the physical therapy team in the Rehab Center, and Dave in the fitness center all really know what they’re doing. Living at Lions Gate and having people who care enough about me to teach me boxing has changed my life.”

“I have eight residents that do boxing now,” said Dave. “We should do a field trip to the Rocky statue in Philly and take a photo of all the Lions Gate residents wearing their boxing gloves. No one works harder than they do!”

Edith turns 95 this year, and she’s stronger than ever. You’ve got the eye of the tiger, Edith!