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Feature:
Parkinson's Disease

Michael J. Fox: Spurring Research on Parkinson's

Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollin

Michael J. Fox and his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in the year 2000.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

"What I had in mind was an organization built for speed, eschewing bureaucracy and taking an entrepreneurial approach toward helping researchers find a cure for Parkinson's," says Michael J. Fox about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which he founded in 2000. That was just two years after he went public with his news about having Parkinson's.

Almost 14 years later, Fox has become the most famous face of Parkinson's disease, and his foundation has raised millions for research into a cure. In 2013, he returned to television full time, with a situation comedy on which he plays a man living successfully with Parkinson's.

"I can play anybody," Fox has said several times. "As long as the character has Parkinson's disease."

Part of the reason he has been able to return to full-time acting is because he and his doctors have found a drug cocktail that helps him control his symptoms to a large degree.

"I turned myself around," Fox has written. "In fact, Parkinson's has made me a better person. A better husband, father, and overall human being. Life delivered me a catastrophe, but I found a richness of soul."

Some celebrities with Parkinson's disease

Bob Hoskins

Bob Hoskins — Retired, award-winning English actor
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali — One of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt — Award-winning singer of popular music.
Photo courtesy of AP

Read More "Living Well with Parkinson's Disease is an Art" Articles

Living Well with Parkinson's Disease is an Art / Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease / Michael J. Fox: Spurring Research on Parkinson's / Diagnosis and Treatment / Research

Winter 2014 Issue: Volume 8 Number 4 Page 7