CIPD patient uses Zumba at the Y to cope

5 May 2012

Most people know that Zumba is a great option for those who want to work out, and have fun doing it. However, few can credit Zumba with giving them back the ability to walk. Carol Alley is one of the few. Carol and her family are members of the Great Bridge/Hickory YMCA, and while Carol has been having great fun with the friends she’s made in her Zumba class, she has also taught herself how to walk again. She used this class to retrain muscles that were damaged as a result of contracting a rare immune system disease, often referred to as CIPD. Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy (CIPD) is an immune-mediated inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nervous system. It is believed that the condition is caused by immune cells attacking the exterior lining of nerve cells. As a result of the CIPD, Carol became a paraplegic in a very short time. However she didn't want to give up enjoying Zumba at the Y, and fought to keep her coordination with some modifications from her instructor Lecia. An individual with CIPD typically experiences difficulty walking which progressively worsens over a period of a few months. Tingling or other abnormal sensations may also be experienced with this condition. Physical examination will usually show a loss of reflexes in the knee and ankle. While Carol experienced most of these symptoms, she worked hard to regain the use of her legs, and in time she was miraculously, not only standing again, but dancing to Zumba music with her friends at the Y! Faced with an extreme challenge, Carol didn’t give up, and we love seeing her enjoy her favorite group exercise class! This is an amazing story, and it was so cool that the Y could be so instrumental in her recovery. WVEC Channel 13 came out and did a segment on her recovery, check it out here!