Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers diagnosed with Parkinson’s

The mayor of the county’s largest city announced Friday he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers, 58, said in a statement he was diagnosed with the central nervous system disorder last month, and that it wouldn’t affect his role as the city’s top leader.

“As with every challenge life has presented, I intend to take a head-on approach and have never known any other way,” Myers said. “Thankfully, we discovered the disease early, which provides a much greater opportunity to treat and manage symptoms.”

Myers said he has an excellent team of doctors and has started kickboxing sessions at 9Round Fitness on the southside. Studies done by Butler University and the University of Indianapolis have found that intense exercise, particularly the kind that forces people out of their comfort zones such as boxing or kickboxing, can slow the progression of the disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative and relentless neurological disease in which the brain produces increasingly less of a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for allowing the brain to communicate to the muscles throughout the body, so as less becomes present, it becomes more difficult to move normally.

Myers has reached out to both the Indiana Parkinson Foundation and Parkinson’s Awareness Association of Central Indiana seeking to learn more about the disease and offering his assistance in raising awareness, according to his statement.

“I feel strong, fit and more passionate than ever about leading Greenwood’s resurgence. As always, thank you for your support,” he said.

During the last seven years, the life-long Greenwood resident and son of a former mayor helped revive downtown Greenwood by working to fill vacant storefronts, beautifying facades and improving city streets. He added jobs, attracted Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon to the outskirts of the growing city and built a staff he raves about.

In Greenwood, conversations have centered around future development, particularly downtown and on the southeast side of the city.

Redevelopment of the 16-acre middle school property is part of the mayor’s years-long $24.5 million plan to turn downtown Greenwood into a place to live, work and play. His hope is the area will eventually be home to more than 580 apartments and townhouses, 75,000 square feet of retail shops, restaurants and office space, 9.9 acres of open green space and include 1.9 miles of new or renovated streets, something he hopes to see come to fruition in the next five years.

Myers was just re-elected and will start his third term next month. He plans to continue serving Greenwood as mayor.