Michael J. Fox Opens Up About His Struggles with Parkinson’s and His Unbreakable Spirit

Michael J. Fox Opens Up About His Struggles with Parkinson’s and His Unbreakable Spirit

Michael J. Fox, a beacon of resilience, has faced the challenges of living with Parkinson’s Disease for three decades.

In a recent interview with Town & Country magazine, the renowned “Back to the Future” actor, now 62, shared the injuries he’s endured in recent years. These struggles began with a broken upper arm while recovering from a risky spinal surgery to remove a noncancerous tumor in 2018, a moment he described as his “darkest.” Yet, he humbly stated that the broken arm was just the beginning. Since then, he has broken his other arm and shoulder, smashed his orbital bone and cheek, and even had his hand broken, which later became infected, posing a serious threat. He referred to this string of misfortunes as a “tsunami of misfortune.”

To maintain his ability to speak and combat facial muscle paralysis, Fox takes medication daily. He also dedicates himself to daily training, despite the risk of further injuries from falls. Remarkably, he remains undaunted, saying, “One day I’ll run out of gas… If that day comes, I’ll allow myself that. I’m 62 years old. Certainly, if I were to pass away tomorrow, it would be premature, but it wouldn’t be unheard of. And so, no, I don’t fear that.

The documentary “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” released this year, captures Fox’s frequent falls and multiple injuries during filming. He emphasized that his falls have nothing to do with carelessness, as Parkinson’s presents unforeseeable challenges.

Michael J. Fox received his Parkinson’s diagnosis at the young age of 29 and bravely shared this news with the public seven years later, in 1998.

Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing neurodegenerative condition in the U.S., causing uncontrollable movements, stiffness, and balance difficulties. Despite the setbacks, Fox has continued to inspire through his writings, such as “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist,” published in 2008. However, he confronted a moment of doubt in 2018 when he fell while recovering from surgery. He recalled thinking, “What an idiot… There’s no way to put a shine on this.”

This fall served as a turning point, igniting the creation of his book “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.” In the book, he delves into his challenging journey of recovery from spinal surgery, his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s, and his return to positivity after experiencing despair. Fox realized the significance of embracing realism while still nurturing optimism. He said, “I think the first thing you have to do is accept if you’re faced with a difficult situation.”

Notably, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has invested nearly $2 billion in Parkinson’s research since its establishment in 2000. Earlier this year, the foundation unveiled a groundbreaking discovery: a spinal fluid test, currently in clinical trials, which can detect early stages of Parkinson’s in an individual’s cells.

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