It’s been 25 years since Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and the iconic Canadian actor looks back at his quarter-century battle with the disease by pointing out that he should be in far worse shape than he is.
“I was diagnosed 25 years ago, and I was only supposed to work for another 10 years. I was supposed to be pretty much disabled by now. I’m far from it,” Fox said in an interview with Haute Living. “This is as bad as I get, and I can still go to the store and go marketing.”
And while he concedes that his goal of finding a cure for Parkinson’s within his lifetime is a tall order, there has been amazing progress made since he was diagnosed in 1991.
“Biology is really hard, and you come into these things and say, ‘Let’s wrap this up in five years.’ And then you realize if you wrap this up in 25 years, then you’re doing great,” he says. “So we’re trying to get things in the pipeline that may be curative and therapeutic to a point where that would resemble a cure. If we can halt progression and diminish symptoms, then I’ll take that.”
Still, he admits that advancing age — he’s 55 — isn’t doing him any favours. “The biggest problem I have now is balance,” he says. “That’s kind of tricky because you fall down a couple of times at 55 and you realize that you’re not 25.”
And while he accepts his illness, he points out that isn’t the same thing as being resigned to it. “I don’t have expectations, but whatever happens, happens. I hope it’s a good thing, and I trust it’ll be a good thing,” he says. “My acceptance is not resignation. I can accept something for what it is and then beyond that move on to rectify that, remedy it, or change it in some way. I have accepted to acknowledge it.”