Michael J Fox ‘Won’t Stop’ Until Cure For Parkinson’s Is Found
Michael J Fox has been speaking about his journey from struggling actor to one of the world’s leading campaigners for a cure for Parkinson’s disease, as his foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary.
The Back to the Future star was diagnosed with the condition in 1991 when he was just 29, but has remained active both in Hollywood and as a campaigner, with the Michael J Fox Foundation having raised more than $1 billion for research into Parkinson’s disease since it was established in 2000, two years after he went public with his diagnosis.
Now, ahead of a delayed 20th anniversary celebration at the foundation’s annual A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s gala, Fox has acknowledged the advances that have been made in treating the disease, and said he remains as committed as ever to finding a cure.
‘I didn’t know I’d be trying to find a cure for Parkinson’s,’ he told Variety of his early career, which he said began when he moved to America from Canada to book commercials in the early 1980s.
While the degenerative nature of Parkinson’s has meant Fox is less active as an actor than he used to be, he also praised the developments in treating the condition that have in many cases been funded by his organisation.
They are therapies that have made life a lot better for a lot of people. I enjoy life more. I’m more comfortable in my skin than I was 20 years ago. I can sit down and be calm. I couldn’t do that 25 years ago. That’s the medications, the drug cocktails and therapies that we’ve been a part of.
Moving forward, Fox said he was interested in research into possibly preventative treatments for people with biomarkers for the disease, but said that ultimately his foundation would remain dedicated to finding a cure.
‘What I am most proud of his the way we have galvanized this community. We can get stuff done,’ he said. ‘I just want to get this done. I’m committed to this. I won’t stop until it happens.’
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