Jesse Jackson Reveals Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis

Rev. Jesse Jackson has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The 76-year-old minister and civil rights activist shared the news on social media on Friday, expressing that it’s been “painful” for him to recognize the effects of his diagnosis.

“Throughout my career of service, God has kept me in the embrace of his loving arms, and protected me and my family from dangers, seen and unseen,” Jackson wrote. “Now in the latter years of my life, at 76 years old, I find it increasingly difficult to perform routine tasks, and getting around is more of a challenge. My family and I began to notice changes about three years ago.”

He added that the disease is not a “stop sign” for him, rather a signal that he must make lifestyle changes and focus on his health.

“Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it,” he continued. “For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.”

“I want to thank my family and friends who continue to care for me and support me,” Jackson expressed. “I will need your prayers and graceful understanding as I undertake this new challenge.”

Fans have been nothing but supportive, tweeting Jackson their well wishes and sending him love and support.

Meanwhile, it’s been almost 20 years since Michael J. Fox revealed his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Earlier this week, ET caught up with the 56-year-old actor at his annual event, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s,” where he weighed in on the moment he shared his diagnosis with the public.

“[My family] lived with it for a long time, so by the time I told the public about it, I had accepted it,” he told ET.

Hear more of what he had to say in the video below.

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