Michael J. Fox Continues to Make Strides Fighting Parkinson’s
By Tess Farrand, Contributing Writer
Twenty years ago, beloved actor Michael J. Fox stood in front of Congress with no medication and revealed his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.
At the age of 29 years old and amidst a bustling career, Fox was forced to regroup when his pinky finger started to tremble with severity.
The Mayo Clinic’s definition of Parkinson’s disease is as follows: “a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.”
Until Fox came to the forefront, his Parkinson’s disease was widely unknown.
Now in 2018, Fox believes that his contributions to Parkinson’s are more valuable than any of his acting roles. In a recent article by CBS News, Fox was interviewed along with a panel of other Parkinson’s patients for Fox Insight, a database that connects researchers and patients in order to address concerns and uncover more, “You tell them, when your Parkinson’s start. What was your first symptom? What types of symptoms do you get? What medications do you take? And, the more information they get, the faster they’ll get to a cure,” said participant Claudia.
Fox’s foundation has raised $800,000,000 dollars to educate, research and fight Parkinson’s. The website details resources on how to get involved and learn more about the causes and medical care available. Since its genesis in 2000, Fox and his team have generated lots of progress. Unfortunately, the foundation does endorse embryonic stem cell research in their look for a cure, which many Christians consider to be abortive, and many scientists argue has less success than adult stem cell research.
CBS News states, “Fox says he’s not expecting a cure in his lifetime, but he is expecting vastly-improved therapies. ‘And, I’ll take that in the short term. The idea of finding that Eureka! moment and the thing that cures it, I don’t know that that’ll happen in the next 20 years. But, I do think we’ll have therapies where it’s a vast[ly] improved quality of life for people with Parkinson’s.’”
Despite his diagnosis and philanthropic work, Fox is still a working actor with projects coming out this year. He also had a sitcom on NBC called THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW which follows a news anchors return to TV while undergoing the struggles of Parkinson’s. The content of the show was no doubt, close to Fox’s heart.
With big screen hits such as the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy, DOC HOLLYWOOD and STUART LITTLE, Fox’s focus on his marriage of over thirty years, four children and grandchildren help him to keep a healthy outlook on the blessings of life; “And I look forward to grandkids, and I look forward to weddings and I look forward to books.”
Fox ponders on the legacy of his life, “I had a moment with somebody, and they said, ‘Someday there’s gonna be a cure for Parkinson’s and it’s gonna be because of you.’ And to me, this was the first time that it really struck me. And, I didn’t — and not that I took it seriously, but I feel part of something that is much more special — if it happens it’s much more special than any movie or any TV show.’”