Back to the Future star and Parkinson’s advocate Micheal J. Fox is once again shedding light on the realities of the harrowing disease.
While promoting his new documentary Still: A Micheal J Fox Movie at the Southwest Film Festival on Tuesday, March 14, the 61-year-old actor opened up about what his life has been like since first being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991.
Fox, who was only 29 years old when he was diagnosed, admitted that he felt like he had no choice but to “mobilise” people to be aware of Parkinson’s.
“I didn’t have a choice,” he said
“This is it. I have to give everything I have, and it’s not lip service. I show up and do the best I can.
“Pity is a benign form of abuse. I can feel sorry for myself, but I don’t have time for that. There is stuff to be learned from this, so let’s do that and move on.”
The Canadian actor went on to explain that his motivation to educate the public about Parkinson’s disease was the reason why he created his documentary, as a way to share his story and give back to his fans.
“My fans have basically given me my life,” he said.
“I wanted to give these people who have done so much for me my time and gratitude. It was great for me to hear from all of you.”
Fox went on to say that though Parkinson’s “sucks” he’s lived a “great life,” adding that he has “no regrets”.
“You do what you have to do, but you do not want to kill yourself. And that’s when I stopped,” he added.
Since going public with his diagnosis in 1998, Fox has dedicated a large part of his life to researching Parkinson’s by donating millions to fight and destigmatise the disease.
The actor’s tireless efforts to help find a cure for the disease saw him receive an honorary Oscar at the Academy’s 13th Governors Awards last November 2022.
At the time, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Fox 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.
Since establishing the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, the actor has raised more than AUD$ 2.25 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) into research for the disease.