The actor, who was diagnosed at age 29, said the disease’s progression has left him with numerous ailments, but he was still able to maintain his optimism.
Michael J. Fox, who played Marty McFly in Back to the Future, described Parkinson’s disease as a “gift that keeps on taking” in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning.
Since the 1990s, Michael J. Fox has been battling Parkinson’s disease. The actor is a dedicated advocate who has fought to increase research into the illness to advance treatments and cures for it.
However, his work in movies, not his struggle against Parkinson’s, was what this time brought him a prize. A lifetime achievement award was given to him. Things also became a little emotional during the ceremony. Read on to discover more.
The 61-year-old star from Back to the Future graced the red carpet in New York City for the Spring Moving Image Awards. His 28-year-old twin daughters Aquinnah Kathleen Fox and Schuyler Frances Fox, as well as his 62-year-old wife, Tracy Pollan, joined him on the red carpet for the awards show.
A year after the 1990 release of Back to the Future Part III, the 61-year-old activist, and former Hollywood actor received a diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson’s disease.
Fox said to Jane Pauley during an interview: “Having Parkinson’s stinks… Every day you struggle more and more, but that’s just the way things are.”
Over several years, the illness gradually damages various areas of the brain. Tremors, slow motion, and stiff and inflexible muscles are the three basic symptoms.
Fox said that he has sustained a number of wounds from falling, including fractures to his face and other body parts and a benign tumor on his spine. “You don’t die from Parkinson’s, you die with (the ailment),” he continued, “you don’t die from all these subtle ways that get you. I won’t live to be eighty.”
“I recognize how difficult this is for people and how challenging it is for me, but I have a specific set of skills that allow me to deal with this stuff, and I realize that optimism is sustainable when practiced with gratitude,” he continued. “Finding something to be thankful for gives you something to look forward to and allows you to move on.”
According to the charity’s website, Fox established the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, which has raised more than $1.75 billion for research funding. The foundation also funded a study that claimed to have established a biomarker for Parkinson’s disease. It was published in April.
“This changes everything,” Fox remarked. “I know where we are now. In five years, we will be able to diagnose it, predict if you will ever contract it, and know how to treat it.”
The actor, who is married to Tracy Pollan and has four kids, announced his retirement in 2020. In November, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Governors Awards, an honorary Oscar recognizing exceptional philanthropic achievements. He will also soon produce an Apple TV+ documentary. A Michael J. Fox film, still.