Michael J Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 26 years ago, since then he’s become the face of the debilitating illness. As his disease progressed Fox stopped working, and appears less and less in public, leading many of his fans to wonder how he’s doing.
Earlier this year, Fox sat down with AARP and gave the world an update on his condition, but it’s not what anyone would have expected.
“The truth is that on most days, there comes a point where I literally can’t stop laughing at my own symptoms,” he said.
He explained that he knows how his everyday struggles with tasks must look to others, and the pity they must feel for him. He finds it hilarious because on a personal level he feels great.
Fox was a darling of Hollywood, his good guy persona and youthful good-looks charmed everyone. He was in the middle of a career resurgence, starring in the prime time sitcom Spin City for which he won an Emmy, when he came out with his diagnosis in 1998.
People living with Parkinson’s hailed his move as brave and groundbreaking. For Fox it was about shedding light on an illness most of us don’t understand.
He said one of the hardest parts of going public with his condition was “people’s perceptions of the condition.” Knowing that they were feeling sorry for him was hard for Fox.
“I’d assure them that ‘I’m doing great’ – because I was.”
While he rarely acts any more Fox has done a number of things to help stop Parkinson’s. He’s launched his own foundation to raise awareness and funds, and recently helped debut shoes with self-tying laces for people with Parkinson’s.