Inspiring

Michael J. Fox Opens Up About Latest Health Scare

November 23rd, 2020

Michael J. Fox is an Emmy award-winning actor, advocate, and best-selling author, whose optimism has inspired many over the years.

With the release of his new book, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, the 59-year-old spoke with ABC News about his health struggles, including a specific “bottom” point that nearly crushed his optimistic outlook.

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Fox has been living with Parkinson’s disease for three decades.

The actor, famously known for his roles in Back to the Future and Family Ties, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 at the age of 29.

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Instagram/@realmikejfox Source: Instagram/@realmikejfox

Since opening up about it to the world in 1998, he’s been a committed advocate for Parkinson’s research, launching The Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000.

He’s come to peace with the disease.

During Fox’s exclusive ABC News interview with GMA’s co-anchor, George Stephanopoulos, he shared:

“I’ve reached kind of peace with it, kind of a détente. It takes up the space it takes, and it left me room to do other things, and thrive, and golf, and have friendships, and travel.”

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Fox faced a different health problem that threatened his mobility.

After Fox began experiencing “numbness” in his limbs, Doctors discovered that he had a benign tumor on his spine. Without surgery, the father of four was informed it’d lead to paralization.

He explained:

“They told me that I couldn’t reverse any of the neurological damage that had been done, but I could perhaps stop it from progressing. But if failing that, it would progress to the point that I’d be paralyzed.”

Fox made the decision to undergo the surgery. It then took him months of physical therapy to be able to walk again.

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Instagram/realmikejfox Source: Instagram/realmikejfox

One day, Fox had a “careless” accident that he’ll never forget.

The situation took place in the family’s New York apartment. Fox had come home early from a family vacation to do a movie cameo – and it was his first time being there alone overnight since the surgery.

Fox was walking down the hall when he accidentally slid into their kitchen and fell on the floor. The impact shattered his arm and he was forced to call an ambulance. For Fox, it was his “bottom.”

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He said:

“…it was so useless. It was so pointless and so stupid, so avoidable.”

The way the actor viewed it is that he didn’t cause his Parkinson’s disease or the tumor. However, the fall was something that he could have avoided, as he’d been warned about being careful. According to Fox, he needs to “think” before walking and not just “go.”

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The fall had a negative effect on his positive outlook.

Luckily, Fox remembered some advice that his late father-in-law (Tracy Pollan‘s dad) had shared with him. It helped get him through the dark period.

“He would always say, ‘It gets better, kiddo. It gets better. The last thing you run out of is the future. He lived every day with gratitude and I realized, if there’s gratitude, then you have sustained optimism.”

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Michael J. Fox’s book, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, is now available. In the book description, it says:

“…Michael shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality. Thoughtful and moving, but with Fox’s trademark sense of humor, his book provides a vehicle for reflection about our lives, our loves, and our losses.”

Watch ABC News’ exclusive interview with Fox for yourself below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Good Morning America, ABC News, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, PEOPLE, Macmillan

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