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Monday, October 2, 2023

Michael J Fox admits Parkinson’s battle is ‘getting tougher’ every day

Michael J Fox says his Parkinson’s battle is “getting tougher” by the day.

The “Back to the Future” actor, 61, has battled the disease for more than 30 years and added even though his struggle was increasing, he was optimistic new research will relieve future sufferers’ pain.

In a chat with “CBS Sunday Morning”, he said his degenerative illness was a “gift that keeps on taking”. He added to interviewer Jane Pauley: “It sucks – it’s getting tougher, it’s getting harder, every day you suffer, but that’s the way it is.”

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991, a year after ‘Back to the Future Part III’ was released.

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He said that despite his fight with the symptoms, which include involuntary shaking, slow movement, and stiff and inflexible muscles, he had a “certain set of skills” that allowed him to cope.

Fox, who has four children with his wife, Tracy Pollan, and retired in 2020, said: “I recognise how hard this is for people and recognise how hard it is for me, but I have a certain set of skills that allow me to deal with this stuff and I realise, with gratitude, optimism is sustainable.

“If you can find something to be grateful for, then you find something to look forward to and you carry on.”

Fox founded the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, which has raised more than $1.75 billion (R32bn) for research funding.

He told the CBS show that the recently published study, which says researchers have discovered a biomarker for Parkinson’s, “changes everything” for sufferers.

Fox added: “I know where we are right now. In five years, they will be able 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.”

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.


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