Michael J. Fox: ‘If Find Something to be Grateful For, Then You Can Find Something to Look Forward To’
By Movieguide® Contributor
BACK TO THE FUTURE star, Michael J. Fox has become an activist as he continues to fight against his diagnosis, Parkinson’s disease.
In 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation began, and is dedicated to, “finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.”
Fox’s Foundation is “the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s drug development. …To date they have raised over $1.75 billion dollars and moved the field closer to a cure.”
The foundation and its clinical research study, PPMI, found a spinal fluid test that can detect whether or not a living person has Parkinson’s. Fox called it a “first and monumental leap forward for our disease.”
Fox stated that because of the test, “not only will it be possible for the disease to be diagnosed and monitored earlier, but we are standing on the threshold of being able to prevent it altogether.”
As far as Fox’s acting career goes, he decided in 2020 to finally hand in the towel. This decision came after he had been asked to memorize lines for a project and he simply couldn’t do it.
Fox stated, “I didn’t panic. I didn’t freak out. I just went, ‘Well, that’s that. Moving on. A key element of this process is memorizing lines, and I can’t do it.’ … I can’t remember five pages of dialogue. I can’t do it. It can’t be done. So, I go to the beach.”
Since Fox had a tumor removed in his spine in 2018, he’s had trouble walking.
“Now I break stuff,” he stated. “This arm and this arm, this elbow. I broke my face. I broke my hand from falling.”
He continued, “You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. I’m not gonna be 80. It’s banging on the door. It’s getting harder. It’s getting tougher. Every day gets tougher, but that’s the way it is.”
Despite how hard it is for Fox, he still has many things he looks forward to and is grateful for.
“I recognize how hard this is for people, and I recognize how hard it is for me,” Fox said. “But I have a certain set of skills that allow me to deal with this stuff. And I realized, with gratitude, optimism is sustainable. And if you can find something to be grateful for, then you can find something to look forward to, and you carry on.”
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