Hollywood star Michael J. Fox has spoken out about his struggles with Parkinson’s and admits he doesn’t think there will be a cure in his lifetime.
The actor, well known for his role in Back to the Future, was candid about his battle with Parkinsons in a recent interview with AARP, sharing that he doesn’t think there will be a cure for the debilitating disease while he’s alive…
He said: “As I wrote in my latest book, I’m now out of the lemonade business, I’m really blunt with people about cures. When they ask me if I will be relieved of Parkinson’s in my lifetime, I say, ‘I’m 60 years old, and science is hard. So, no.'”
Despite his struggles, he continues to share his appreciation for all the incredible experiences he’s had in his life, most of all coming from his family and career…
“Still, it’s hard to explain to people how lucky I am, because I also have Parkinson’s,” he said. “Some days are a struggle. Some days are more difficult than others. But the disease is this thing that’s attached to my life — it isn’t the driver.
“And because I have assets, I have access to things others don’t. I wouldn’t begin to compare my experience to that of a working guy who gets Parkinson’s and has to quit his job and find a new way to live. So, I’m really lucky.”
The actor also opened up about a “dark patch” he went through back in 2018, after he had surgery to remove a tumour in his spine…
“For one thing, I am genuinely a happy guy,” he said. “I don’t have a morbid thought in my head — I don’t fear death. At all.
“But as I came through that darkness, I also had an insight about my father-in-law, who had passed away and always espoused gratitude and acceptance and confidence. And I started to notice things I was grateful for and the way other people would respond to difficulty with gratitude. I concluded that gratitude makes optimism sustainable.”
Despite his diagnosis, Fox carried on his acting career for an incredible thirty-years, and made a point of using his condition to add to the characters he was playing…
He talked about his role in The Good Wife, where he played a lawyer who used his disability to gain empathy for his clients. “I loved the idea that disabled people can be a**holes, too,” he said.
Fox added: “When I couldn’t act the way I used to act, I found new ways to act. But then I reached the point where I couldn’t rely on my ability to speak on any given day, which meant I couldn’t act comfortably at all anymore. So, last year I gave it up.”
Fox concluded by giving some advice to those struggling to deal with their own prognosis, saying: “Have an active life and do not let yourself get isolated and marginalized. You can live with it.”
“People sometimes say that a relative or a parent or a friend died of Parkinson’s. You don’t die of Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s, because once you have it, you have it for life — until we can remedy that, and we’re working hard at it. So, to live with it, you need to exercise and be in shape and eat well. If you can’t drive, find a way to get around. Maintain friendships. Don’t say, ‘Oh, I don’t have anything to say to Bob.’ Bob might have something to say to you. Just make the call.”
Fox has since been named AARP’s 2022 Purpose Prize honoree, and we couldn’t think of anyone more worthy of the award.