All Episodes

March 19, 2024 36 mins

Davis's hero teaches him how to fly. Also, we spend some time with Dr. Holly Shill, the director of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, whose career path, like Davis's, was enlarged by Muhammad Ali. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mark as Played
Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:04):
This is a story I've never told anyone about Ali,
and I guess it's about me too, But I'm gonna
tell you. Back in nineteen seventy five, sparring with Ali,
just moments after Ali opened me, he escorts me down
from the ring gingerly. I'm freshly electrocuted from that one

(00:28):
single left jab, just one from this great man, Muhammad Ali.
I feel like I might hit the floor. He sits
me down and he clambers back up into the ring
and boxes this beautiful round with Eddie Bossman Jones, his
longtime sparring partner. It was unreal. I mean, just this

(00:49):
blistering series of punches, just tracers is all you could see.
At the end of the round, he steps over to
the corner Drew Bundini Brown and Joe Dundee removed his
gloves and he steps back to the center of the ring,
puts both hands up in front of him, drops the

(01:09):
right one to his side, and says.

Speaker 2 (01:12):
The man who has no imagination has no wings.

Speaker 1 (01:16):
He cannot fly. When he said that, he slowly opened
his hand, and a bird I now know to have
been a Carolina wren flew from his hand and fluttered
up to the ceiling in his training camp, in that
little cabin in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania. It's more Ali magic.

Speaker 3 (01:45):
It had this sort of powerful presence and the fact
that he was willing to be public about his disease
really gave patience courage.

Speaker 1 (01:55):
That's doctor Howie Schiel, director of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson
Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Speaker 3 (02:01):
If he can do it, if he can be brave
enough to get out there and be a person with
Parkinson's disease in the public eye, they said, Hey, maybe
I can do this too.

Speaker 2 (02:10):
It's totally awesome to have someone like that, with his
stature and his condition be out there and he had
those tremors going on. People felt sorry for him, but
that was just the tip of the iceberg. He was
there doing it for others, and that's how I got
hooked in.

Speaker 1 (02:25):
And this is Frank Borges, a patient at the center
who is inspired by Mohammad's fight against the disease.

Speaker 2 (02:34):
I would say it's magic, but it's just actually really is.
It just makes me feel really good.

Speaker 1 (02:41):
Mohammed Ali, oh, how he loves to make us believe
in magic. Some of us have even been inspired by
Ali to believe in our own sorcery, our incantatory ability
to push on despite the odds, to invoke and pursue

(03:03):
our own magical talents. Now late in Ali's life, with
the world to stop believing in him, the old Wizard
enchants me and helps me believe What's again? Episode five
The Eyes Lie Kentucky Derby Day in Louisville nineteen eighty eight.

(03:35):
Rockman invites me to a gym where Mohammed is meeting
with people and receiving some kind of half ass award.
I mean, it really was a half ass award from
some local Louisvillion who wanted to open a boxing hall
of fame. So I dress in all white that day,
like Muhammad has every time I seen him, and drive

(03:57):
down to the gym. When I get there, Cassius Clay
Senior is getting out of a limo. I step inside
and Mohammed's already there. There's these two ancient looking boxing
trainers I've never seen before, local Louisville trainers, and Mohammad's

(04:19):
sitting in between them, and they're showing old black and
white Cepia colored eight millimeter footage of young Cassius Clay
working on a speedbag and a heavy bag. Mohammad's sitting there,
and then he stands up from his seat and says,
this is boring. He starts goofing around with everybody in

(04:40):
the room, throwing punches at people. He looks at me,
points he says, didn't know you'd be here, and then
he starts throwing punches at me. I'm just all lit up.
I'm happy as can be. And we trade shots for
a minute. I'm such a little pointed nose bespectacled white guy,
kind of Some of the people around the gym go

(05:05):
ooh ah, you got a live one, and we break
it off. This college looking kid steps up, blonde haired,
wearing a polo shirt and starts throwing shots volley and
he's heavyweight, he's Muhammed's size. They're throwing things at some
distance from each other, and then Mohammad points to the ring.

(05:30):
I know what he wants. He's intending to box this kid.
Really box this kid. Yeah. Mohammad's wearing a business suit,
red tie, white, starts to button up shirt and he
asks for a pair of gloves. Somebody straps gloves on
his arm. He climbs between the ropes, gets this kid
to get in between the ropes with him and says.

Speaker 4 (05:54):
Five rounds.

Speaker 1 (05:56):
I have a video camera with me. I step into
Muhammed his corner and starts shooting. At the beginning of
the first round, you know, I don't know how long
it had been since Muhammed had bucks. I don't know
if it had been six weeks or six years. Awi
is looking really stiff, and this kid's pretty good. He

(06:21):
dances around Ali. Ali looks at the kid's feet and
up in his face and points. You know, and what
Muhammad means by that is you learn that from me.
But the kid didn't understand that. This kid's being aggressive.
He really comes at Mohammed. Mohammed's covering up and he
looks bad. I'm worried for him. I feel this cold

(06:45):
cockroach of sweat going down my spine and then Dan
the end of that first round, and at the beginning
of the second round, this kid gets very aggressive and
starts sticking Muhammad with a jab over and over again.
Muhamma's covering up and he motions the kid and says,
come on, come on, I know what he's doing. I'm

(07:09):
just wondering can he really pull this off?

Speaker 2 (07:14):
Right?

Speaker 1 (07:14):
When the kid throws a jab, Mohammed comes across and
sticks him with a counter jab. Suddenly Ali is Ali.
The kid's head goes through a ninety degree turn, his
legs shake and rotmand Ringside says, this kid is suddenly,

(07:38):
maybe for the first time in his life, aware of
his own mortality. It's quite a moment. He gets on
his skates and gets out of there. Mohammad plays it
nice and kind. He backs off and then puts somebody
else in the ring of far less gift did box her.

(08:01):
Is remarkable to see that this man who could barely
get through the ring ropes when he had to, he
pulls himself up. He's that hugely prideful, greatly courageous man
and thumps this kid. Really gives him a lesson. I realized,
once again, with Muhammed as my hero, my inspiration, I

(08:24):
need to pull myself up too. I'm going to do
the best work I have in me. I ain't no fighter,
but I am a writer and I can write great stuff,
and I won't accept anything less no matter what any
detractor might say. In the future, I'm going to do
something it hasn't been done before. I'm going to do
it about Muhammad Ali I'm going to show the world

(08:44):
who he really is, what he is in the pit
of his belly and in his chest and in his heart,
and what he cares about. It's been very helpful for
me today to see Mohammed in these ways as I'm
sitting down to write daily the story which i think
I'm gonna call my Dinner with Ali, and it's just
enormously inspiring that I've got to dig deep. I've got

(09:09):
to prove myself. I've got to do this thing that
I've never done before. I've got to do it for him,
and I've got to do it for myself. Do I
have that greatness in me? Do I have this story
in me? What I'm doing at home every day is
I'm stepping into my little study managing video stores. I've

(09:31):
got my mom's old typewriter in there. I'm locking the door.
I've got my speed bag in there, I've got my
heavy bag in there. I'll step over to the bag
several times during the day and I sit and I
plug the deepest parts of myself to get to the
truest story about that first night missus Clay's with Mohammed,

(09:54):
And it's in me a remarkable thing about it is
though I didn't take one note because I wasn't thinking
about writing it. I was in the dream, and the
dream lives for me in each moment, and I recall
every twitch that Muhammed did. I recall all his movements,

(10:16):
all the movements of Missus Clay, of Rockmand, of everyone
in the room, and everything they said, which I don't
think I've ever had that happen before in my life.
What does that mean, I don't know, but it feels
almost divine. One of the cool things about hanging out

(10:42):
with Mohammed with a group of people is that he
would sit on the edge of conversations. He'd listen and
listen and listen, and when he had something to say,
it was like him sticking you with that snake click
of a jab. He'd just pop it out there and
it'd be this one liner that would stop you dead

(11:02):
with its insight and its poignancy. Craig and I had
a different way of seeing Mohammed than the old school
guys who come up with him in the sixties and seventies.
That previous generation of guys, most of them saw Muhammed
is being pitiful. That was about them partly about their
own houseyon days. This was their glory time as well,

(11:25):
and they don't want to see it diminished through Muhammed.
The only time I ever heard him frustrated ever, out
of hundreds of hours with him, the one thing he said,
and it was after a bad moment where people were
around him looking at him in tough ways. We were
sitting in a car. I'm sitting beside him in the
back seat, and he said, just imagine what I could

(11:47):
be doing if I didn't have this shit. The one
and only time I ever heard him frustrated, But he
also said this to me, people care about me now
because I ain't superman no more. I don't think Mohammad
saw himself exactly as being like them. He knew he
was someone exceptional. But they see me as being like them,

(12:10):
and that allows them to care about me and care
about me now. That hit me pretty deeply too, that
level of insight. If he's still been the old noisy Alli,
would we have loved him. His silence allowed us to
see him in ways that we projected on him, in
that he sort of became this whispering seer, this muse

(12:33):
that we could put our own stuff on. I've had
Parkinson's patients say directly to me that they were inspired
by Mohammed the fact that he went out there and
showed himself to the entire world standing on that platform
in Atlanta the ninety six Olympics. That was a moment
that allowed a lot of Parkinson's patients to say, Yeah,

(12:56):
I need to get on with this too. Jampi, one
of the great preggers in the score Craig tell us
more about that incredible moment when he.

Speaker 4 (13:08):
Held that torch out like that and everybody took their picture.
He was beaming once it all worked. When it was
over and they went up to the suite in the hotel,
he had a torch that he lit the flame with
and he was in the chair with it. He wouldn't
let it go. He was so proud of the moment.
When people came up to talk to him, he just
kept it in the chair and he was able to
take it home. Obviously.

Speaker 1 (13:28):
Yes, it's in the Ali Center now, it's in a
display case.

Speaker 4 (13:32):
It had a lot of symbolic power to it. But
the athlete in Ali wouldn't allow himself to fail, and
I'm sure he was.

Speaker 1 (13:40):
Nervous asked, the trimmors. Those are the trimmors. You know
this as well as I do. That when he was
nervous about something, typically when he had to appear in public,
that's when the trimmors would come forth. The trimmors were
much milder when he wasn't nervous.

Speaker 4 (13:55):
In essence, he had to get up for the moment
to make sure it went well. And I'm sure he
sucked up all the courage he could to make sure
that he looked dignified and he could light this thing
and not only light that torch, light up that crowd,
because when it worked and he held that thing up,
the place went crazy.

Speaker 1 (14:21):
They kept that such a secret. I'd been calling the farm.
I've been calling the office, been calling the home phone
for weeks, and it kept going to voicemail, which was
not typical.

Speaker 2 (14:34):
The town.

Speaker 1 (14:35):
I said, Okay, there's something going on here. Mohammed is
doing something, and I wondered, is it the Olympics? Is
it the Olympics? Is it the Olympics. The one time
I got through to him, he said, I'm training and
he didn't say what he's training for, and I didn't
push it, but he'd been training for probably sixty to
ninety days. He got his weight down. He's out there

(14:58):
doing the bag work. He's probably walking up and down
that long, long driveway several times a day. He worked
hard to get to that. Now, how it affected other
people though, The world came to understand him in those
moments in the way that you and I did, in
the way we'd known him to be for years. And
there were a lot of people who I mean millions

(15:20):
of people didn't even know that he had Parkinson's and
they said, oh, okay, there he is, but he's okay,
he's okay, he's still Ali. It struck people very very deeply,
and it struck Muhammed very deeply. He considered it a

(15:43):
transcendent moment.

Speaker 4 (15:45):
It's an affirmation of sorts, Isn't it.

Speaker 1 (15:47):
Good word choice? It is absolutely an affirmation. You start
looking at what are the most powerful moments in Olympics history,
I'll tell you what. It ain't necessarily what happened on
a field or in a ring, or in a swimming
or throwing sticks. Number one, with the exception of Jesse
Owen's pissing off Hitler, is Muhammad Ali standing up and

(16:10):
lighting that porch in ninety six in Atlanta.

Speaker 4 (16:13):
What he did is conquered the physical to reach millions.

Speaker 1 (16:22):
I was in Morocco for Sport magazine when Mohammad was
at that Olympics. I was covering a pro am golf
tournament that the King of Morocco put on, and I
just found it the silliest thing in the world. I
had no interest in it whatsoever. But the hotel I
was staying in I come down to get breakfast. I
step out of the elevator and there's this huddle of

(16:43):
people around the front desk and I see at the
center of this little huddle this tiny television and they're
all got this softness that you would seeing around Mohammed
if he was actually there. This circle of people around
just taking this TVs seriously, and I get up close
to it. There's Mohammed lighting the torch and they play

(17:04):
it over and over and over again. The skip breakfast.
I'm in Marrakesh and I go out onto the empty
streets and it's usually full of people, and in this case,
you see people clustered in front of televisions in these
shop windows and they're crying. They're all just absolutely riveted.

(17:32):
Here he is the most famous Muslim in the world,
standing lighting that torch emblematically for us all.

Speaker 4 (17:49):
Our next guest is being treated for Parkinson's disease at
the Muhammad A. Leave Parkinson Center. Frank Borgese is seventy
four years old and lives in Anthem, Arizona. He grew
up in Chicago and yes, he was a fan of
Mohammad's during his boxing career. Frank was the executive director
of the Northern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross.

(18:09):
Thanks for taking the time to be with us today.

Speaker 2 (18:11):
Great to be here.

Speaker 4 (18:13):
How are you able to get into the Ali Center?

Speaker 2 (18:15):
Good question. I was with another neurologist in a different
hospital system. My wife was in the medical field all
her life, so she was always saying, do you really
like this guy? Is he really pinpointing things? And she
actually had to talk him into prescribing some levadopa because

(18:36):
she thought I had Parkinson's and he was saying, to know,
it's he has parkinson isn't, which isn't the same thing.
He gave in. He said, try his medication for three
months and we'll see. And it's like the first time
I took it, just like, holy cow, what a difference.
She always wanted to get me into Muhammad Ali of

(18:59):
Parkinson Center. We're We're glad we did because the doctor's there,
the one we have doctor Nicki Nehman and my physical
therapists there. They work with you one on one and
they tell me that. And I noticed this that everyone's
with Parkinson's disease. It's it's different for everybody. Some are
same symptoms, but there's everyone's got something a little different,

(19:20):
so you can't treat it boilerplate, which other institutions did.
I felt some other institutions were more wrapped up in
the research, but not so much about personalization with you
to help you out. It's kind of like, yeah, i'll
see I'll see it in six months. And then my
wife said, well, I think Frank needs physical therapy, and

(19:42):
she pushed for that. She and my rock. By the way,
that was the way we could get into Muhammaadli Parkinson
Center because you have to have a diagnosis or you
have to have a referral to get in there. It's
a very busy place. So once I got there, things
turned around dramatically. And seeing I say, Imam Ali's picture everywhere,
it's kind of like he's here. I thought of him

(20:04):
when I went to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, and
I just felt he was there looking down at me.
I felt stronger, like if he could beat this, or
at least live longer with it, then I can do
the same. He inspired me, and with Parkinson. You'd rather
sit in your easy chair and in the newspaper, watch TV,

(20:24):
have breakfast, lunch, dinner. But I picked up or my
wife actually bought it for me because I was saying
to her, I'd like to have a poster of Muhammad Ali.
It's right next to my bed. Or actually I sleep
in an easy chair now illviated for you. I hit
it every minute of training, but said suffer now and
live the rest of your life like a champion. Ever

(20:46):
read there every morning to get me up. It's my job.
I got to get up and do this. The doctor
that I see is the doctor Nicki Nineman, who is
a part of the whole program that Doctor Schillen overseas,
including many wonderful programs that they offer to people afflicted
with Parkinsons disease. I go to a power Moves class

(21:10):
virtual I can call in two times a week. There's
a Ti Chi class that attend virtually there that they have,
which is Spectas, and they have some other programs that
you can get involved in playing golf. So if you
can't walk or you can't stand up, because with me,
if I swing the club, my emotion would keep going
and I'll be flat on my faith. They have special

(21:32):
equipment that they either ground you to the ground and
you're able to swing the club. So I'm thinking about
doing that too. So there's so much that they offer.
It's fantastic. And I asked to do a lot with
the director Doctor Show.

Speaker 1 (21:46):
I'm sure tai chi and boxing are long movements, and
of course it's those little close end type movements that
are so difficult with Parkinson's. It seems to me that
those are great.

Speaker 2 (22:00):
It's one of my favorite classes at Muhammad Ali's Parkinson
Center because like you said, it's big movements and slow movements,
and it's a program that's been around for thousands of years.
Three thousands of this one program that they teach me.
It really helps. I have a class here at the
Dentum Country Club too, that's a water aerobics, so I

(22:21):
can get loosened up there. I can do a lot
of those moves pretty well under water, you know, just
put the connection together with your brain that you can
make those big gestures and movements. And they do incorporate
the boxing part of it too, with the instruction for
their power Moves classes where you're cross punching and un
punching uppercuts, and it definitely helps.

Speaker 1 (22:43):
It gives you a chance to be a kid again
in a certain way too. So yeah, that's a fine thing, Frank.

Speaker 4 (22:49):
Appreciate your time, very illuminating and thank you.

Speaker 2 (22:53):
Thanks a lot.

Speaker 1 (22:54):
Take care of yourself in every moment. Thank you, Thank you, Frank.

Speaker 4 (23:08):
The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center is the most comprehensive center
of its kind, located in Phoenix, Arizona, as part of
the Barrow Neurological Institute. The center was founded in March
of nineteen ninety seven when doctor Abraham Lieberman encouraged Muhammad
to become the face of the fight against the disease.
The director of the center is doctor Holly Schill. She

(23:28):
is a neurologist in chair in Parkinson's Disease in Movement disorders,
as well as a professor in the Department of Neurology
at the Barrow Neurological Institute, Doctor shild I want to
thank you for taking the time to join us.

Speaker 3 (23:41):
Thank you, it's my pleasure to be here.

Speaker 4 (23:43):
Tell us about the origins of Mohammad's involvement in the
founding of the center.

Speaker 3 (23:48):
It started when there was this fundraiser called Celebrity Fight
Night back in the mid nineties. It was this idea
of getting stars to get together and help to raise
money for charities. Jimmy Walker had the brilliant idea to say, hey,
maybe we should invite Muhammad Ali boy, it would really
be a good person to start to be the face
of Parkinson's disease. He approached them in nineteen ninety seven,

(24:10):
he agreed, and the rest is history.

Speaker 4 (24:12):
You were a resident at that time.

Speaker 3 (24:14):
So I was training here at Baroonurological back in the
late nineties. I remember those very early days, you know,
the days of the ribbon cutting. At the time, we
were like six clinic rooms and a little space at
the end of the hall where with some educational material
about Parkinson's disease, but this very strong commitment to really
support patients and families, making sure that nobody goes without care,

(24:37):
making sure that patients are educated, making sure that they
just had the support that they need to be successful. Today,
we have an entire floor, thirty clinic rooms. We have
rehab space, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. We have
a outreach center which has a gym and places where
patients can meet with social workers. We have an entire
research division that is also on this floor. Come here

(25:00):
and we can provide everything that you need.

Speaker 4 (25:03):
What was the impact of having someone with a name
as prominent as Muhammad Ali attach himself to your work
and to the center.

Speaker 3 (25:11):
Yeah, just extremely important to the patient. Had this sort
of powerful presence, and the fact that he was willing
to be public about his disease gave patients courage. If
he can do it, if he can be brave enough
to get out there and be a person with Parkinson's
disease in the public eye, they said, hey, maybe I
can do this too.

Speaker 4 (25:32):
Another celebrity has been part of your work as well,
and that's Michael J. Fox, who has his own separate
foundation from the Alis.

Speaker 1 (25:40):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (25:41):
So the Fox Foundation started right about the time the
Alis lent their name to our centers. In the end,
it was sort of this decision to say, well, how
do we best support patients without conflicting. The Fox Foundation
said well, hey, we will do the research for Parkinson's,
focus on developing the cure, and in the meantime the
all would focus on supporting the patient until we get

(26:03):
the cures. So how do we provide the best care?
How do we provide patient support and education, family support
and education. It's really been this nice collaboration. We receive
funding from the Fox Foundation to do some landmark studies
like the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, and then at the
same time we're providing its excellent a patient care as
we possibly can while we're looking for that cure.

Speaker 4 (26:25):
Mohammad not only let his name he was a patient.

Speaker 3 (26:29):
He had the trust in us to have us help
to provide his care. I think that spoke volumes to
what our program had to offer, and so I think
patients had trust in us because they said, Hey, if
it's good enough for Mohammed, then it's good enough for me.

Speaker 4 (26:43):
What was it like for the clinicians and caregivers to
work with him?

Speaker 1 (26:48):
Shill doctor Shild to the front desk.

Speaker 3 (26:51):
When I first met him, I was young and in training.
He used to come by the center just for sort
of periodic social visits, if you will, to check out
this and see how things were going. And this often
would lead to sort of an impromptu everybody in the
center coming and gathering around him. I reached out my
hand to shake his hand, and I just remember this

(27:13):
huge hand enveloping mine and giving me this warm handshake.
And then next thing I know, I'm pulled into a hug,
this giant of a man who's still a strong, imposing
figure giving me this big hug that exemplifies his presence here.
He was just so warm with his attention, his affections,
and time. Even if he was coming here for a

(27:36):
doctor's visit, they still had time for people as he's
walking down the hall to say hello, I'm still bad.
He loved telling stories and doing magic shows. It was
really a good time. And he loved kids. So if
we had a plan visit where we knew he was coming,

(27:59):
we would often invite the staff's children to come to
the meeting. He just loved that idea of inspiring the
next generation just by his presence. But you almost couldn't
get them away from a place to say, hey, okay,
it's time time to move on.

Speaker 2 (28:13):
The reaming doctor Nimmy to the front desk.

Speaker 3 (28:16):
I really like that idea of just interacting with people.

Speaker 4 (28:20):
How did he inspire patients?

Speaker 3 (28:22):
The best word would be courage. With Parkinson's, there's this
tendency for people to develop social anxiety. They don't like
the idea of being in front of people or going
out in public, So people start to get kind of
holed up, stay at home, not like to go out.
But yet we know it is so important for people
to maintain their movement through exercise and just moving around,

(28:44):
but also that social aspect because of his presence, the
fact that he was willing to continue to have a
social presence in the public eye gave courage to patients
to say that they could do this. Yeah, I'm not
embarrassed by Parkinson's disease. I'm going to go out there
and live life. He always used to refer to the
folks with Parkinson's as my people. Anytime he was talking

(29:06):
with us about what he wanted us to do, that
was make sure you take care of my peoples. I
don't want any man left behind.

Speaker 4 (29:15):
When I first met him in the nineteen nineties, I
was struck by his stamina. Later in the last years
of his life. When he became more infirmed. I took
my children to meet him, and he couldn't really walk
without assistance at that time. Yet from a seated position,
he lifted my daughter off her feet and plopped her
in his lap. I was just amazed by his strength

(29:36):
still even with the disease, and I always felt he
was doing his best to defy the disease.

Speaker 3 (29:43):
As an example to my patients, you take somebody who
was arguably one of the most fit people in the
world at the time he developed Parkinson's disease, and yet
continued then to exercise and use his body, despite the
fact that Parkinson's was trying to take that away from him.
He kept doing that. It's a testimony to patients. You say,

(30:03):
if you actually keep up your movement, keep up your exercise,
you can actually maintain your functions. You take somebody with
thirty years course of Parkinson's disease, still with tremendous strength,
even as you pointed out, even towards the later years
of the diagnosis, to your mind over your body, saying hey,
I can do this, I can keep active.

Speaker 4 (30:23):
And speaking of mind, I think one of the great
misnomers about certainly Mohammad's case. I think people believe he
wasn't there mentally, and I know for a fact, having
spent time with him through a twenty five year period,
he was the same Muhammad Ali between the ears.

Speaker 3 (30:43):
Yeah, And it's absolutely a brilliant point. There's a tendency
when you look at somebody with Parkinson's disease and you
look at oh, their facial expression is reduced and they
have a hard time speaking and expressing themselves, and you
might get this sense that you know, maybe there is
something wrong with their intellect. But the point is exactly right.
A lot of times the intellect is spared and people's

(31:05):
thinking and ability to respond, while it may be delayed,
is still intact. You learn with our patients is that
you ask them a question and you just give them
a little bit of extra time to respond and formulate
their thoughts.

Speaker 4 (31:18):
I can't tell you how many people over the years
who I had to straighten out when they said, oh,
a'li use punch drung can't put a sentence together wandering
through life.

Speaker 3 (31:28):
That's not Mohammed to be a little bit sort of
medical here for a minute, just differences between the disorders
Parkinson's disease is mostly a movement problem, so problems with
tremor and initiating movement, slowness of movement, maybe some slowness
of thinking, slowness of getting your thoughts out, where's the
punch drunk? Or what's called CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathies

(31:51):
is mostly a cognitive disorder, at least to how it
presents itself tends to affect people's thinking.

Speaker 4 (31:57):
Another factor of it that I think impacted a lot
of people was the facial mask Here was this brilliant face,
most expressive face. It was hard for him to make
that smile. He would break out of it from time
to time, but generally it was that facial masking which
is part of the disease.

Speaker 3 (32:14):
I can't speak for Mohammed, but just in general with patients,
I think that is such a frustrating aspect of things. Essentially,
to have that lack of ability to move your face effectively,
to smile, to laugh, to cry, to show essentially show
any emotion. The facial missiles just simply don't move well.
So you can have the emotion and the want to

(32:34):
laugh and show your emotions, but it's just simply harder
to do that can be very frustrating for patients, so
they have to rely on people interpreting what they're saying
rather than the facial expression that they're showing, so very
frustrating and socially damaging aspect for patients.

Speaker 4 (32:49):
That expressive face of Oli, even though it was masked
for a time, when you did see him smile, you
knew it was a big deal. Let me ask you,
how has he inspired you a clinician?

Speaker 1 (33:00):
As a doctor, he is.

Speaker 3 (33:02):
The reason I became a movement disorder neurologist, a specialist
in Parkinson's disease. That early experience with him and patients
in our center and realizing that this was a patient
population that I really really wanted to serve to make
their life better by clinically managing their disease, but also
looking for cures, looking for therapy. And we continue our work,

(33:23):
and we will continue to do it until we find
a cure. We use the stories of Mohammed, the things
that he's left us with, the visits that he's had.
We continue to tell his story to every new patient
that's newly diagnosed and hope that it inspires them to
live a better life with Parkinson's. How much has he

(33:43):
missed tremendously. Not just people that knew him here at
the center, but patients routinely will come in and tell
their own story about how they knew Mohammed or how
they watched his fits or his courage. After the development
of Parkinson's disease, everybody comes in telling their story about
what they remember about Muhammad. Having a chronic progressive neurologic

(34:05):
disease like Parkinson's makes you say, Okay, what's important in life?
And there's something about that sort of wake up call
for people to really focus on what is important? Is
it family, is it your career? To really focus on
what's important in life. And I think that the fact
that Mohammad could do that gives our patients hope that
they can do the same.

Speaker 4 (34:25):
I very much enjoyed speaking with you. This was great,
my pleasure.

Speaker 3 (34:29):
It's been fun.

Speaker 4 (34:29):
You guys are doing great work. Appreciate it.

Speaker 3 (34:32):
Thank you, appreciate it.

Speaker 1 (34:33):
But by now, in the next episode of the Tao
of Muhammad ahwe I lose the biggest male influence of
my life, my true hero. Meanwhile, our citizen of the

(34:55):
world defies the American government for the second time. We
hop across the big wide Atlantic to trace Ali's little
known roots to a land with a rich history of
both fighting and storytelling.

Speaker 5 (35:12):
He said to me one day, I can't remember how
old it was, as in our front room. He leaned
over and he said, Tom, do you know why I'm
so good at buxing? I says, no, Mohammed, I don't
know why, he said, because I'm Irish. The fight in
Irish isn't the title that my dad gave him. The
perfect title, the People's Champion, that's the perfect title.

Speaker 1 (35:32):
The Dow of Mohammad Ali is produced by Imagine Audio
for iHeart Podcast and hosted by Me Davis Miller. My
co host is Craig Mortally, Karl Welker, Mark Bouch, Nathan Kloke,
Dereck Jennings and Little Old Me Davis Miller are executive producers.

(35:52):
Produced by Craig Mortali, sound design and mixing by Juan Border,
Music by ejsparr In introducing a very good pal of
mine Isaac Miller, and also Luminescence track Nouage. Visit luminescentmusic
dot com to check out more from the band.
Advertise With Us

Popular Podcasts

Dateline NBC
Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.