Like many people with cerebral palsy, Laura-Lee Minutello of Bloomingdale has spent a lifetime fighting against barriers to and prejudices against the disabled.
However, Minutello, who is completing her year-long reign as Ms. Wheelchair Florida, recently tackled a different kind of fight.
With the help of the staff at Title Boxing Club of Brandon, 889 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon, Minutello donned boxing gloves March 1 to learn about the benefits of boxing for those living with physical disabilities.
Minutello has spent the past year traveling around the state advocating for and empowering people living with disabilities. And one of her messages is the need for those with disabilities to stay fit.
"Fitness is something that is important to all, no matter who or how old you are," she said. "That becomes even truer for those of us who have added health challenges and may not move quite as easily.
One of her motivations for maintaining an exercise program is the fact that therapy services for the disabled are reduced after the age of 21.
"I've always wanted to try boxing," said Minutello.
Title Boxing Club of Brandon owner Amy Ray and her trainers rolled out the red carpet for Minutello, offering one-on-one instructions.
"We have a few other members that have CP as well and want to spread the word on fitness options for all types of people," said Ray.
Minutello will turn over her Ms. Wheelchair Florida crown to a new Ms. Wheelchair Florida. April 5-6 in St. Petersburg.
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