Celeb Causes - Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's Disease
This actor thought he'd become a professional hockey player, but it didn't take him long to realize things don't always end up the way you hope. Growing up in Canada might have had something to do with his love for hockey, but acting became Michael J. Fox's passion. He became a star on the classic 80's sitcom Family Ties, starred in three Back to the Future movies and recently retired from Spin City. It took a lot of hard work to make it into Hollywood's spotlight, so it probably wasn't easy to step out of it.
Michael J Fox Has Parkinson'sSeven years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, Michael decided to give up acting and concentrate on his fight to find a cure. Parkinson's effects the muscles and nervous system, making body parts twitch, usually in people much older than Michael. Muhammed Ali also suffers from this disease and is also trying to raise awareness. Although Michael hasn't completely given up on his acting career, most of his energy is spent trying to raise awareness for Parkinson's, as well as raise money for research.
Michael J Fox Raises AwarenessMichael has already met with a US Senate subcommittee to ask for $75 million for research. He must have done a nice job of asking because the National Institutes of Health told him they would spend several more millions just on Parkinson's research.
Besides campaigning for more money, Michael also started the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. He hopes his foundation will increase awareness, be a voice for the Parkinson's crusade and raise much needed research dollars. Michael strongly believes that given enough time, money and energy from the government and the public that a cause and a cure for Parkinson's will be found by 2010. By then Michael will be 50.
Right now Michael is writing a book, running his company Lottery Hill Entertainment, and fundraising for Parkinson's. He is also the voice of Stewart in Stewart Little and is working on the sequel. Although this disease usually causes people serious problems, like severe shaking, Michael hasn't let it slow him down.
Check out his site for more info and to read what Michael's been up to lately.