Actor Michael J. Fox recently sat down for an interview with Jane Pauley on CBS Sunday Morning, where he spoke candidly about his life with Parkinson’s disease and his ongoing advocacy efforts.
During the interview, Fox discussed the challenges of living with Parkinson’s and detailed the most difficult symptoms.
“Falling is a big killer with Parkinson’s,” he explained, noting that he has suffered two broken arms, a broken hand and broken bones in his face as a result of falls. “It’s falling, and aspirating food and pneumonia – all these subtle ways that it gets you. You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. I’m not gonna be 80.”
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at the young age of 29. He initially kept his diagnosis private, but eventually decided to go public with it in 1998. Since then, he has become a leading advocate for Parkinson’s research, through his eponymous foundation and his work with other organizations. The foundation has raised more than $1.75B for research funding and also sponsored a study, published in April, that says researchers have discovered a biomarker for Parkinson’s.
“This changes everything. I know where we are right now. In five years, they will be able to tell if you have it, they will be able to tell if you’re ever going to get it and we’ll know how to treat it.”
Despite his constant struggles with the disease, the actor has maintained an optimistic outlook on life.
“If you can find something to be grateful for, then you can find something to look forward to, and you can carry on.”
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