Solace on the Ice: Urbandale Man Living With Parkinson’s Calls Hockey ‘His Best Medicine’

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URBANDALE, Iowa — “I never complained about having it because I’m alive,” 58-year-old Scott Carlisle said.

Living with Parkinson’s disease is challenging for the Urbandale man.

“It’s a constant war with your own body. You have to just be mentally tough,” Carlisle said. The progressive disease makes each day a little bit harder.

“I just have to tell myself, you’re not going to beat me today,” Carlisle said. But with a simple lacing of skates, his solace is found on the ice.

“If Michael J. Fox can skate, I can skate too,” Carlisle said. “So I’ve been doing it ever since, and it’s been my best medicine.”

After playing the game for years, Carlisle found his way back to hockey post diagnosis, playing alongside his brother, Royce, once again.

“The best part is just seeing my brother play hockey,” Royce Carlisle said. “We’ve done it for years and it’s not going to stop as far as I’m concerned. He’s going to keep going.”

Even through the toughest of days, Carlisle never lets Parkinson’s disease slow him down.

“I take life two minutes at a time, just like a hockey shift,” Carlisle said. “You have good shifts, you have bad shifts, but I’m just very grateful that I can come out here and do this.”

Carlisle credits hockey for helping lengthen his stride and improving his balance and coordination. But in reality, the sport is helping him much more than that.

“He’s my oldest brother and my best friend. I look out for him. He has fun and it helps him. I think it’s the best thing for him with the atmosphere, the people, the skating, everything,” Royce Carlisle said.

He’s surrounded by not only Royce, but all the other brothers he’s made out on the ice.

“It’s everything,” Carlisle said. “Every day I come out here and I’m just so grateful. Win, lose, or draw, I mean, I win every time I come out here and skate. I’m going to do it as long as I can.”

The two brothers started a nonprofit called Pucks for Parkinson’s in Iowa. They have a benefit on Saturday, June 15th at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena. You can find more information about the event by clicking here.


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