Norm Plumb with his sons Colin (left) and Doug. (Contributed)

Plumb family doing pushups for Parkinsons

Family well known Pitt Meadows basketball players

One of the great sports families out of Pitt Meadows is doing pushups for a cause.

From basketball to boxing to push-ups, Norm Plumb 59, is participating in Push-Ups for Parkinson’s on Sunday, Oct. 21 at a fundraiser for the grand opening of the new Parkinson Wellness Centre.

His sons Doug and Colin were basketball stars with the Marauders, these days, Plumb is hitting back against Parkinsons in a boxing gym. All three are getting involved in the pushup challenge.

Three years ago, Plumb was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He discovered and joined Rock Steady Boxing New West at the Parkinson Wellness Centre as an active way to fight back against Parkinson’s.

“The centre provides a supportive environment that allows for personal growth and a safe place to connect with people going through similar experiences. It hosts a friendly environment to nurture friendships and offer compassion to others when they need it,” he said.

Now he wants to give back and bring more awareness to the disease by challenging himself to collect pledges for as many push-ups he can do in 30 minutes at the grand opening.

It’s actually a family affair as both his sons, Doug and Colin, are also participating in the challenge.

Norm said he hopes to get 200 pushups done. Boxing is a great sport for Parkinsons, because the punching combinations help with their motor control, he said.

“I refuse to give up the fight.”

He still hammers the bag pretty hard, but has a ways to go to catch up to some of the smoother boxers in working the bags.

Parkinsons gives him other challenges.

“The toughest drill for me is buttoning up a shirt,” he said, adding that shoelaces and other fine dexterity drills are tough.

Norm noticed changes in himself, and from his own online research started to wonder if he had Parkinsons. His handwriting was getting smaller, and his voice inflection was weakening.

His advice now is for men to recognize their symptoms, and see their doctor.

“Accept the fact you have Parkinsons, and know that things are going to be different. Some things are going to take a little longer.”

He has the support of his sons.

“I am participating in Push-ups for Parkinson’s for the simple reason that it hits close to home, with my dad affected by the disease,” said Colin. “It will raise both awareness and funds, both invaluable. The Parkinson Wellness Centre is important because it provides those affected by Parkinsons with solidarity; there is strength in numbers.”

“The Centre is important because many people seem to suffer in silence and don’t have a support system. When Dad goes to boxing I feel like he is much more at ease knowing he is not alone and he has a plan,” said Doug.

The Plumb family is well known in the local basketball community with both sons being active on their high school (Pitt Meadows secondary) and university teams (UNBC and UBC), and even Doug playing professionally in Hungary and Romania. All along Borm offered his unwavering and unconditional support.

Coach Rich Goulet remembers them well.

“They were both good kids,” he said.

He remembers Colin as a leader on the team, totally dedicated to the game.

“He was a gym rat. When I had the open, he was there,” said Goulet. “When I didn’t have the gym open, he was there.”

He coached Doug on a B.C. Team, and said he was “just a great athlete.”

All three of them continue to be very active in the world of basketball. Doug, now 30, is VP, Corporate Development & Programs for Academy Basketball, Inc. in Vancouver as well as head coach of professional basketball team, St. John’s Edge, in St. John’s Newfoundland. Colin, now 26, is an Outreach Worker at Kwantlen Park Secondary.

Once receiving the Parkinson’s diagnosis Norm decided to leave a 30-plus year career in the field of aluminum railing manufacturing industry in order to focus on his health and put his energy into following more passionate and satisfying ventures such as working alongside his sons. Norm has volunteered his time with the local youth basketball program under the Vancouver Basketball Academy banner, has assisted in a few local outdoor court upgrades/refurbishes over the past few years in Metro Vancouver and most notably he recently managed an outdoor court refurbish in East Vancouver – turning a tired old outdoor court into one of the city’s nicest, most colourful outdoor courts.

From basketball to boxing, Norm can now add push-ups to his “passionate” list.

If you want to support the Plumb family consider attending the grand opening which takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at #103-450 E Columbia St, New Westminster and/or making a pledge.

Alternatively you can email parkinsonswc@gmail.com to find out how to make a pledge for Norm, Colin or Doug.

For details of the fundraiser seet page at https://www.facebook.com/events/539884963116142/ and www.eventbrite.ca/e/parkinson-wellness-centre-grand-opening-tickets-50501002859 .

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