Inspiring People with Parkinson’s
Illnesses like Parkinson’s can affect anyone – even the rich and famous. These conditions don’t discriminate, and there are a number of well-known figures who have been very public in their own battle to manage Parkinson’s over the years. Let’s take a look at some inspiring famous faces who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox, known to many as Marty McFly from the Back to the Future films, was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease when he was just thirty years old. In 1998, he went public with his diagnosis, and founded the Michael J. Fox foundation, which raises vital funds for research. He also wrote a book, Lucky Man, about his journey from total denial to becoming an advocate for those living with Parkinson’s. Fox, now 55, is still a working actor, with roles in popular TV shows including The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Muhammad Ali, nicknamed The Greatest by his legions of fans, was one of the world’s most famous sportsmen, and continues to be revered even after his death in 2016. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984, and his health gradually declined over the years. Ali actually worked with Michael J. Fox during the late 1990s, raising awareness of the condition and affirming the importance of fundraising for vital research.
The famous Scottish comedian Billy Connolly announced he was receiving treatment for Parkinson’s disease in 2013 – he was also undergoing treatment for prostate cancer at the time. Connolly was 70 when he was diagnosed, and has continued to work, appearing in films like What We Did on Our Holiday, Brave, and Gulliver’s Travels. In a recent interview, the comedian admitted that he had sometimes struggled to remember his lines during his stand-up shows, but apart from this, he remains uninhibited by his diagnosis.
It was revealed after his death that beloved actor Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s. Mood disorders like anxiety and depression are clinical symptoms of Parkinson’s, and also something Williams struggled with. His widow revealed he had become increasingly ill in the months leading up to his death, and that four months before he died, he had started to take medication for depression. Williams continues to be loved for his inspiring roles in films like Hook, Dead Poet’s Society and Mrs. Doubtfire.
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