The One Show: Michael J. Fox on hopes to find Parkinsons cure
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Back to the Future actor Michael J. Fox, 60, has revealed how he felt pushed into sharing his Parkinson’s diagnosis with the world back in 1998. The Hollywood star was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, but decided to keep it a secret until the paparazzi continuously “heckled at him” from outside his apartment, questioning him about his health.
The Emmy Award-winning actor recently opened up about the difficult decision to go public with his illness in a new interview.
Michael explained that although he felt pressured into disclosing his diagnosis at the time, it then became a “great opportunity”.
The star recalled to Entertainment Tonight: “It was seven or eight years after I had been diagnosed … [and] the paparazzi and stuff, they would stand outside my apartment and heckle at me, like, ‘What’s the matter with you?’
“I said, ‘I can’t be making my neighbours deal with this’.
“So I came out, and it was great. It was a great thing.”
Michael went on to say that he turned the situation into a positive experience, as he saw it as an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease.
“It was a great surprise to me that people responded the way they responded,” he “explained.
The star continued: “They responded with interest, in the desire to find an answer to the disease, and then I saw that as a great opportunity.
“I didn’t get put in this position to squander it.”
Michael recently shared an update on his health in an interview with People magazine.
The Family Ties star said: “I’m in a really good groove.
“Every day is different. The circle [of what I can do] gets smaller.
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“But I’m happy I’ve found things in the middle of the circle that can’t be touched, like my family and the time I have with them.”
Michael founded The Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000 after he was diagnosed at the age of just 29.
The non-profit foundation hopes to fund research to find a cure.
Michael spoke to The One Show presenters Jermaine Jenas and Sam Quek about the foundation’s work in September.
Sam told the actor: “We can’t not mention you and your Parkinson’s foundation because it’s raised over $1billion, a huge congratulations.”
“You’re such a positive person,” the Question of Sport star and presenter went on. “I mean how hopeful are you that a cure can be found for Parkinson’s?”
Michael replied: “I’m very hopeful.
“The billion dollars is not only raised, it’s a billion dollars aimed at research so whatever the cost we raise the majority of it goes straight on research.”
“We think we’re beating down a lot of doors,” he added. “There’s a lot of different avenues for us to process from all different points of view from the scientific community.
“But we think we have a chance to provide some answers and we think within 10 years or so we could be into some really active treatments and quite a few cures.”
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