Michael J Fox, the star of the Back To The Future Trilogy, Family Ties, and Spin City was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 29 in 1991.
He kept it a secret from the public for 7 years before he finally revealed it in 1998. After his conditions had worsened, he moved on to doing only voice-acting due to his symptoms.
Fox revealed to AARP magazine that one of the biggest challenges to dealing with the disease was not the disease itself but rather a person’s perception of the illness. He told AARP magazine that people would look into his eyes and he could see the fear that they had of him. The truth is, on most days, Michael had been doing great.
Eventually, he learned to find a person’s perception of him as a sick person “hilarious,” because of the contrast between their judgment and how he actually felt.
Michael illustrated an average morning with his wife, where something just as simple as getting a cup of coffee would prove to be a daunting task. The actor joked, by the time he poured a cup of coffee to take it over to his wife the cup would be completely empty. “Here you go, honey! Enjoy!” the actor said.
Michael has made a number of cameos on television including Scrubs and, most famously, Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” On the “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Fox’s illness was the real reason behind all jokes throughout the whole episode.
The famous Back To The Future star has learned to see the humor in difficult situations no matter how severe his sickness gets him.
Michael explained that one of the most touching experiences he had was with Muhammad Ali, when the famous boxer who suffered from Parkinson’s disease for 32 years called him on his private phone.
The boxing champion told Fox “We’re in it now Michael. We’ll win this fight.” Michael was touched by the moment he shared with the man.