June 6, 2023
Michael J Fox best known for playing Marty McFly in Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future trilogy

Michael J Fox best known for playing Marty McFly in Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future trilogy

Photo: frame from the film.

Michael J Fox, the 61-year-old actor best known for playing Marty McFly in Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future trilogy, was interviewed by CBS Sunday Morning. There he told how difficult it is for him to live with Parkinson’s disease. This diagnosis was made to Michael in 1991, when he was only 29 years old.

“That shit is when you have Parkinson’s. Every day the disease becomes more and more difficult, it becomes more difficult to endure it, but that’s the way things are … You don’t die from Parkinson’s, you die with this disease. I’m not going to live to be 80. I just won’t be 80.”

Fox said that he fell many times due to illness (it disrupts coordination of movements). At the same time, he broke his bones, including his facial ones. (And earlier, in 2020, he admitted in an interview with The Guardian: “I used to walk fast, but now every step is a damn math problem, so you have to walk slowly”). He calls the fall the “big killer” of people with Parkinson’s. In addition, it can be difficult for patients to eat – food enters the respiratory tract; high risk of developing pneumonia.

Michael J Fox is 61 and has been suffering from Parkinson's disease for about 30 years.

Michael J Fox is 61 and has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for about 30 years.


“I know how hard it is for other people, I know how hard it is for me, but I have developed a certain set of skills that allows me to handle this thing. And I gratefully realized that optimism is a stable state. If you can find something to be thankful for, then you can find something worth moving on for.”

And Fox admitted that his exuberant lifestyle in the 80s could have influenced the development of the disease. “There are so many different ways to hurt yourself … I could hit my head, I could drink too much at a certain period. Most likely, I was also influenced by some kind of chemistry. As we say, genetics loads the gun and lifestyle pulls the trigger.”

Fox founded a special foundation in 2000 that raises funds for the study of Parkinson’s disease. For 23 years, they managed to raise a colossal amount – 1.75 billion dollars. (And Fox in 2022 was awarded a special Academy Award for this – though not an Oscar, but a Gene Hersholt Humanitarian Award). According to him, scientists sponsored by the foundation recently found biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease. “This changes everything. Within the next five years, physicians will be able to [с помощью маркеров] say whether you have this disease, whether you will get sick in the future. And then we will learn how to treat it.”

Recall that it was Parkinson’s disease that crippled the health of Russian fashion designer Vyacheslav Zaitsev, deceased April 30 at the age of 85. This is the most common chronic neurodegenerative disease in the world after Alzheimer’s disease, it includes many painful symptoms for patients, while tremor is the first to catch the eye – constant trembling of the hands, feet, lower jaw and other parts of the body.

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