Jaylene Peterson on Advocacy and Why Boxing?

An interview with Jaylene Peterson on Advocacy and Why Boxing on February 18, 2024 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.



I started boxing in 2008 postpartum. In 2019 I landed my first contract coaching position at The Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies coaching Power Punch Parkinson’s. In 2022 I relaunched the Rock Steady Boxing program at Evergreen Park and Rec which has since been rebranded to Punch Back at Parkinson’s.


Can you tell me more about your organization?


Jaybird Boxing was created as an alternative modality of medicine. Extensive research supports the benefits of  non-contact boxing as it relates to neuroprotection and neuroplasticity.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


Boxing is my passion. My coach, Shidevin Brown allowed me to work alongside him as his assistant and the undeniable fight and commitment to overall health the Parkinson’s participants demonstrated was inspiring. That led me to spread that wealth of knowledge, sweet science, in Evergreen, CO.



What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?


The universal goal is to slow the progression of the disease. Some want community, to lose weight, to strengthen hand-eye coordination, balance, agility and overall better range of motion.




What type of training and how long are the programs?


We offer non-contact boxing twice a week for one hour increments.


What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


It has a multitude of benefits that vary depending on the individual. In my experience it gives people a purpose. Accepting a diagnosis is difficult. Boxing is an avenue to be a student again and to fight.


What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?


I’d like to see our program be one of myriad programs throughout the country. For more people to coach boxing for Parkinson’s.


How does this also assist the caregivers?


Our class ensures that for one hour, twice a week, they can connect with a community, ask questions, gain resources and know they’re not alone. Caregivers can feel isolated and we are there for them too.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?


How can others also become advocates for awareness?


Join one of many organizations locally as an employee or volunteer. Working with this population has shown that the volunteers are the pillars, truly.


In your opinion what is the key to effective advocacy?


Leading with your heart.


How can we better fundraise to support a cure for Parkinson’s?


Boxing Events


What other activities do you undertake to help improve and support your daily living Eg exercise and alternative remedies?


I enjoy weight training and boxing. Relaxing with my friends & family.


Why should people who don’t have Parkinson’s care about this?


The rate of diagnosis. Being abreast of new technology, conducting research and being proactive will be vital to adequately care for our elderly and early onset.


Have you had any family members or relatives affected by Parkinson’s disease?




If you had one song that would tell us more about you or represent your life, which song would it be?


Champion Music By Spoke In Wordz (Song for J Bird)



If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


“Never give up the fight”