Beloved actor Michael J. Fox has opened up about remaining positive despite suffering through debilitating pain as his health woes worsened in the past year.
In a recent memoir, Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s, detailed 2018 as the worst year of his life following a high-risk spinal-cord surgery to remove a tumour, followed by an agonising experience after breaking his left arm.
Speaking with People magazine, the 61-year-old was blunt, saying the past year “got worse”.
“I broke my cheek, then my hand, then my shoulder, had a replacement shoulder put in and broke my [right] arm, then I broke my elbow. I’m 61 years old, and I’m feeling it a little bit more,” Fox said.
— People (@people) October 26, 2022
During this time, Fox said it was harder to remain optimistic, saying he’d pre-warn people to imagine he was using pleasantries in conversation.
“I was never really a cranky guy, but I got very cranky and short with people,” he said.
“I try to nip it in the bud. I always think of these aides who work with me. And I often say to them, ‘Whatever I say, just imagine I said please at the beginning and thank you at the end. Just take a second and absorb that I might have said that if I was more myself, but I didn’t, so I apologize.'”
Now, the Back to the Future star is back to his usual self as he sets out on the road to recovery.
“I’m coming through where the last of my injuries are healing up; my arm is feeling good. Life is interesting. It deals you these things,” Fox said.
“[Now] the whole mission is: Don’t fall down. So whatever works to not fall down, whether it’s a walker or a wheelchair, a cane, a guy with a belt around my waist holding onto it — I use all those tools.
“It’s been a struggle, but I’m happy.
“I say that because I hope on some level people can find happiness in spite of what they’re going through.”
Since his diagnosis in 1991, Fox has dedicated a large part of his life to researching Parkinson’s by donating millions to fight and destigmatise the disease.
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The actor’s tireless efforts to help find a cure for the disease will see him receive an honorary Oscar at the Academy’s 13th Governors Awards in November 2022.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday, June 21, that the 61-year-old actor would be getting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his “incredible contributions to cinema and the world at large”.
“Fox’s tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions,” Academy President David Rubin said in a statement.