Parkinson's Disease is the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world, and exercise can make the single biggest impact on the course of a person fighting back against the disease.
That impact doesn't change based on the person's income; it changes based on that person's desire to Become a Fighter and Fight Back! To ensure that no one is ever turned away from the Bridges for Parkinson's Wellness Program,
the Call on the Fighter Foundation was started.
Your donation to this foundation goes directly to the people who want to fight back against their disease but don't have the financial means to pay for classes. They pay what they can, and the generous donations of people like you pay the rest.
The song"Call on the Fighter" began as a simple idea...create and offer original music to encourage and inspire "fighters" along their Parkinson's journey.
Colleen Bridges, owner and director of Bridges for Parkinson's, found the perfect fit in one of her own fighters, Rich Gootee. Rich, an award-winning singer/songwriter, knows all too well the constant and daily struggles as he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2018. Colleen's experience, research, and regular boxing classes have helped Rich and many others discover the fight within themselves to overcome the otherwise debilitating effects of Parkinson's disease. Together, Colleen, Rich, and their team have grown the music idea into an effort to help even more fighters find restoration and hope by raising funds so that nobody will ever have to be turned away from their local program.
The Story Behind the Song
Who is the "fighter"?
Hear about Rich's Parkinson's Journey
Making of the music video
Meet the Team
Singer / Songwriter
Rich Gootee, also known as GBO (Great Bearded One), is an American songwriter, singer, and musician from Indiana. His musical trek began at the age of 11 in front of a black and white TV in February of 1964. While watching the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show, his life was changed forever. Realizing his newfound passion, he was all in. He cut yards, raked leaves, and delivered newspapers until finally saving $50 to buy his first electric guitar. The local music store became his second home where he sought to learn all he could about playing Rock & Roll. It wasn’t long before Rich and three friends from the neighborhood came together to form their first rock band, The Four Fifths, which included classmate John Hiatt (recognized today as one of America’s most respected and influential singer-songwriters). From his early garage band years in the 60’s, he progressed to the night club and concert scene with the formation of the band Good Seed, a popular and influential country-rock act in the Midwest. Good Seed released four albums and multiple singles while touring throughout North America during the 70’s and 80’s. In addition to writing songs for Good Seed (and other artists including The Wright Brothers 1982 Warner Brothers album), he wrote produced and sang commercial music spots for local and major companies including Sherwin-Williams, Mitsubishi, Delta/Peerless, and the John Deere Corporation. CHANGES In 1984, Rich signed an Artist Management contract with Jerry Weintraub’s industry-leading company Concerts West/Management III, and moved his family from Indiana to Southern California. Showcases and recording sessions in Malibu were part of a new adventure, but the needs of a young family became more than a struggling singer/songwriter could provide. Choosing family over fame and fortune, Rich began a successful career in the corporate world, working his way up from an entry-level sales position to multiple leadership positions in the telecommunications industry. Though thankful for the blessings his new career afforded his family, Rich never gave up on his first love. He continued to faithfully write and record songs in his spare time (including the number one song “JUST REACH OUT” for the rock group PETRA, featured on their 1994 and 2000 Grammy award-winning albums). BACK TO THE FUTURE: HIS THIRD CAREER IS HIS FIRST LOVE Now retired from his season in the business world, Rich has returned his full attention to his first love: singing and songwriting. Not only is it his lifelong passion and joy, but songwriting has provided a place of healing and respite from the indescribable grief of unexpectedly losing his youngest child and only son on Christmas of 2015. Rich writes from a place of deep empathy and a simple desire to connect with hearts, encourage others, and bring joy. He is keeping his dreams alive with his eyes set on finishing strong.
Co-writer of "Call on the Fighter"
Every time I share the story of my involvement in the project, "Call On The Fighter", the response is universal. People always say, "I had no idea Parkinson’s Disease was so widespread ". Telling the story increases awareness and offers inspiration. WHO IS THE "FIGHTER"? The fighter is not a literal person who fights another person. The fighter is an inner strength that can be summoned to overcome the feelings of hopelessness and the temptations to "give up" when faced with adversity mentally, physically and spiritually. WHY IS THIS PROJECT IMPORTANT TO ME? I have witnessed the dramatic effects that can occur in the life of a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease when that person chooses to "fight back". Most specifically, my friend, Rich Gootee seems to have stepped away from the deathbed into a robust life of purpose and success under the direction of Colleen Bridges at Rock Steady Boxing Music City. I have seen it with my own eyes and I want to tell others what I have seen.
Owner, Bridges for Parkinson's
Colleen Bridges, M.Ed, NSCA-CPT and 2020 Medfit Education Foundation Professional of the Year, has worked nearly 20 years as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor and fitness consultant and presenter specializing in individuals with neurological impairments, specifically Parkinson’s Disease. In 2016, Colleen introduced the Nashville Parkinson’s community to Rock Steady Boxing when she opened her Rock Steady Boxing-Music City affiliate, followed by the second affiliate in Franklin, TN in 2017. Colleen’s commitment to the Parkinson’s community has led to her involvement in numerous research studies and exercise program development with programs such as Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, www.FitFixNow.com, Let’s FACE It Together and MedFit Education Foundation. Colleen recently launched her latest course, “Parkinson’s Disease Fitness Specialist Certification” through Medfit Education Foundation. Colleen lives in Franklin, TN with her husband Shane and their two sons, Jackson and Jacob. Contact Information 615-944-3284 email@example.com www.bridgesforparkinsons.com Facebook/instagram- Rock Steady Boxing Music City, Nashville