Michael J Fox was always ready to take great chances. Look the impossible in the face and say: bring it on. Now he’s looking forward to the final challenge and is as brave as ever.
The Back to the Future star, who has suffered from Parkinson’s disease for 30 years, addressed the possibility of his impending death in a brave new interview with city Country on Thursday. And he brought his typical pragmatic optimism and good humor with him as his sword and shield.
Related: Michael J. Fox Can’t Remember Dating This Pop Star Because of Parkinson’s Disease
He said about that moment:
“One day I’m going to run out of gas. One day I’ll just say, ‘That’s not going to happen.’ ‘I’m not going out today.’ If it does, I’ll allow myself to.”
He’s not afraid at all? Well, he had a long time to think about it. The disease, with its degenerative effects on his mind and the incessant injuries it causes, has been his death sentence for decades.
As he explains, it would still be considered “premature” if he “were to die tomorrow” at the age of 62. He is relatively young. However, he adds:
“But it wouldn’t be unusual. And so, no, I’m not afraid of that.”
Wow. But as I said, he had a long time to think about it. At the beginning of the year he said CBS Sunday Morning He is pushed to think about it as the illness gets worse:
“My life is set up so that I can take Parkinson’s with me if necessary. Yes, there’s a knock at the door. Yeah, I mean, I’m not going to lie. It’s getting hard, it’s getting harder and harder. It becomes more difficult. Every day it becomes more difficult. But it is like that.”
So matter-of-fact. It’s hard to imagine feeling like that. But those decades have transformed him from an arrogant young movie star who throws himself headlong into whatever life throws at him into a man who is always thinking about the future. Not just his either.
How much good he could do as the face of Parkinson’s…with this Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, he is estimated to have raised over $2 BILLION for research. And that money and that attention changed things. He says City:
“When I got the diagnosis, it was like an alcohol test. Now we can say, “You have this protein and we know you have Parkinson’s.” It opens the floodgates for pharmaceutical companies to come in and say, “We have a target and we’re going to put money into it,” and when they put money into it, Good things happen.”
What a great guy. He would succeed in whatever he attempted. We wish that didn’t mean he’s facing what he’s about to face…but we couldn’t choose anyone better to fight for such a great cause.
Find out more about Fox’s journey in the fantastic documentary Still: A Michael J. Fox filmavailable on Apple TV+.
[Image via CBC News/Universal/YouTube.]