David’s Story

I Beat Parkinson’s Disease at the Baehr Challenge!

Driving to the Baehr Challenge Obstacle Course, I was feeling stressed, convinced I could not complete the course. My initial plan was to observe and cheer-on the participants. After I checked in and received my t-shirt, I was standing in line to begin the Course; I was even more stressed.

I was an athlete in my pre-Parkinson’s Life, being diagnosed at age 49. Getting through the obstacles would now be a major challenge for me, due to the PD. The disease impacts every part of my life, each and every day. I have to push myself to walk and be “normal”, timing my meds to complete everyday tasks. I have poor balance and am embarrassed by my shaking.

I was so afraid of going through the obstacles, I thought I would embarrass myself. I did not think that I could do it. I was scared. Getting through the obstacles was a major challenge. Once I started with traversing the tire obstacle, I was determined to finish the course. I felt empowered to rise to the occasion. Going through the bouncy house I fell several times, and began laughing out loud, as I was determined to meet the challenge and succeed. I was actually having fun! I got through that obstacle and sat on top of the hay pyramid and finished the course. I felt like my “old self”.

I did it, I succeeded! It was a great feeling to beat PD today, and I completed the Baehr Challenge like a true athlete!

I am grateful to the Baehr Family and their fight against PD. The course promotes camaraderie and inspires all the Parky’s to participate.

I had been to the Baehr Challenge in previous years, reluctant to do the obstacles, sitting on the sidelines. A friend urged me to try the obstacle course this year.

Six months ago, I started Rock Steady Boxing. This program improved my balance, built confidence and inspired me to come out of my isolation. It has helped my PD symptoms tremendously and built strength. I am looking forward to doing the Baehr Challenge next year, and I want other PD friends to give it a try. All the obstacles are fun and challenging. I am confident that others with PD can succeed and overcome their doubts about crossing the finish line. Parkinson’s disease was not going to win that day!


We are sad to inform the Baehr Challenge family that our good friend, David Rein, passed away on Monday, June 1, 2020 from several health issues complicated by Parkinson’s disease. He was 61 and had Parkinson’s for 12 years.

David was an energetic volunteer and enthusiastic participant for many years at the Baehr Challenge. He also enjoyed boxing at 12th Round Fit when he was able. Sometimes he struggled with his PD in the morning and challenged himself to join his PD friends on a walk or early morning hike. Ironically, David was always up for breakfast at Denny’s.

David is survived by his wife, Mary, his daughters, Jessica and Lauren and dog, Levi.

We will miss our dear friend, David Rein.