Michael J. Fox on Parkinson's Battle: "I'm Not Gonna Be 80"


Actor Michael J. Fox opened up about his long-standing battle with Parkinson’s disease in a new CBS interview, saying his disease has progressed in recent years in a way that’s made everyday life harder. 

“It’s banging on the door,” the 61-year-old actor said about his struggles with Parkinson’s. “Yeah, I mean, I’m not gonna lie. It’s getting hard, it’s getting harder. Every day it’s tougher. But that’s the way it is. I mean, you know, who do I see about that?”

Fox explained that he’s struggled with the side effects of the disease, which have included repeated falls that led to broken bones.

“[Falling] is a big killer with Parkinson’s. Falling and aspirating food and getting pneumonia,” he said. “All these subtle ways that get you. You don’t die from Parkinson’s, you die with Parkinson’s. I’m not gonna be 80. I’m not gonna be 80.”

Still, the actor reflected on his own privilege in dealing with his diagnosis and how he’s managed to live a full and successful life thus far. “It’s been 30-plus years,” the 61-year-old actor said. “There’s not many of us that have had the disease for 30 years… I realized with gratitude, optimism it’s sustainable.” 

His philanthropic organization The Michael J. Fox Foundation has raised over $1.5 billion, and recently announced the discovery of a Parkinson’s biomarker that doctors hope will lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment. 

“Where we are right now, in five years we’ll be able to tell if they have it, tell if they’re ever gonna get it, and know how to treat it,” he said. 

Fox’s life and Parkinson’s battle are the subject of a new Apple TV+ documentary titled STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie. It will be available to stream on May 12.


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