Healthy Parkinson’s Community™ Leader Highlight: Brett Miller

Brett Miller Leader Spotlight

Written by the Davis Phinney Foundation’s Community Engagement Team 

June is National Safety Month, and with this in mind, this Healthy Parkinson’s Communities™ Leader Highlight recognizes Brett Miller: a change-maker who has dedicated his time and energy into ensuring those living with Parkinson’s are safe through physical activity, awareness, and education.  

Brett is a Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassador leader in Rockland, Massachusetts. He is a steadfast advocate for individuals living with Parkinson’s and other developmental or physical disabilities; this is at the heart of his wellness center, 110 Fitness. 110 Fitness aims to inspire community members to reach their full potential physically, mentally, and spiritually through exercise, mindfulness, and wellness programs. 

Meet Brett Miller 

Brett Miller Leader Highlight

Brett has been an Ambassador for the Foundation since 2018. He originally joined the program to keep his finger on the pulse of the latest information, research, and resources in the Parkinson’s community to better serve his members at 110 Fitness.  

Brett founded a Rock Steady Boxing-affiliated gym in 2016, to expand his physical therapy practice that provided in-home services to people with Parkinson’s. The gym–and 110 Fitness, which grew out of the gym and Brett’s therapy practice– continues to contribute practical and safe ways for those living with Parkinson’s to improve their quality of life through fitness.  

We asked Brett what gets him out of bed each day and inspires his excitement for helping people live well today:

“I was blessed by the grace of God and given an opportunity to have a second chance at life, and therefore my mission and purpose is one of service to those in need specifically Parkinson’s disease. Too much is given, much is required, and I was given a gift and therefore it is my obligation to share that gift with the rest of the world.” 

The Challenges in Brett’s Parkinson’s Community 

We also asked Brett about the challenges he sees for his Parkinson’s community:

“The biggest challenge that we see is not being able to reach out to all the people in need. We know there are several hundred people in our community that we have not touched. These people may be isolated in their homes, not knowing that there is a place to get help and thrive in a community and that they are not alone.”   

Brett addressed the personal challenges he and his team face. Chief among them was time; specifically, not having enough of it:

“We train people continually, and we feel as a team that it is still very difficult to balance our personal lives and family lives while still being of service to all those in need. I believe we have done—and continue to do—a fantastic job, but as most folks know, the [number of people with Parkinson’s] continues to increase exponentially, which makes being there for everyone a difficult goal to keep up with.” 

How to Manage the Challenges 

When we asked how Brett and 110 Fitness manage these challenges, he noted that they had developed a Parkinson’s wellness app with over 300 videos in 18 different categories that people can access worldwide. This expands the number of people they help, but Brett and the 110 Fitness team also continue to develop more classes at different times of day so more people can attend and engage in exercise and other activities in a safe space.  

Brett’s Advice for Living Safely and Living Well 

Brett says his biggest piece of advice for people with Parkinson’s is that “you are not alone, and it just takes finding your tribe and community to improve your quality of life.”  

He offers that “there are so many breakthrough technologies and breakthrough medicines on the way, this is probably one of the best times to have Parkinson’s disease with all the research and money that is being poured into curing this progressive neurological disease.“  

Finally, Brett recommends making a three-item “action list” to help you continually support your physical activity, mental health, and social needs as an individual. This list should consist of: 

One thing you can do weekly to be more physically active. 

Two of your favorite places to decompress and “be in the moment.” 

Three friends you should reach out to and catch up/get coffee. 

Additional Resources 

Advice to People with Parkinson’s in My Clinic: Exercise 

Reasons to Find Places to Decompress 

Stress and Mindfulness in Parkinson’s Disease—A Survey of 5000 Patients 

How Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy Can Help You Live Well With Parkinson’s 

Stress Management, Mindfulness, and Parkinson’s 

REACH OUT TO YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY ACTION COMMITTEE OR AN AMBASSADOR TODAY 

Social isolation has a substantial influence on quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. Combat this by reaching out to your nearest CAC or one of our 130+ Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassadors 

You can also reach out to the Community Engagement team any time by emailing communities@dpf.org. 

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You can learn much more about living well with Parkinson’s today through our Every Victory Counts® suite of resources. Each manual is packed with up-to-date information about everything Parkinson’s. Click the link below to reserve your manual(s).

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Thank you to our 2024 Gold Partner, AbbVie, and our Silver Partner, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, for their ongoing support of these must-have manuals. Additionally, we’d like to thank Barbara and Dale Ankenman, Abby and Ken Dawkins, Bonnie Gibbons, Irwin Narter, Lorraine and J Wilson, and Gail Gitin in loving memory of Gene Gitin for their generous donations that allow us to make these resources available and accessible to all. 

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