After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease himself, how Hollywood actor Michael J.Fox fought hard to help millions suffering with the disease


Michael J. Fox has made the battle of the five million people against the Parkinson’s disease, his own. A patient himself, he put to use all the resources possible on his part, bestowed upon him by his profession, to finding a cure to this yet unanswered disease.

A popular Canadian-American actor, author, producer and activist by profession, Michael is best known for his on-screen role of Mike Flaherty on the ABC sitcom ‘Spin City’. The actor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, at the age of 29, and came forward with it in public, only in 1998. Having taken a semi-retirement from acting due to the surfacing of the symptoms in 2000, he has become an advocate for research towards finding a cure since then. He established the Michael J. Fox Foundation on 31st October, 2000. Their mission has been to ensure the development of better treatments, and ultimately a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda, investing more than $650 million in research to date. The Foundation translates basic scientific discoveries into simple treatments with definition to benefit the people living with the disease today. They sponsor by awarding grants to the most promising researches, carried out by their Pipeline Programs, namely, ‘Rapid Response Innovation Awards’, ‘Target Validation Awards’, ‘Clinical Intervention Awards’ and the ‘Therapeutics Developments Initiative’, that are aimed towards drug development. Apart from its contribution in the field of research, the foundation spreads awareness and keeps the people updated on the progress made through its newsletter ‘The Fox Focus’ that comes out bi-annually and its monthly e-newsletter ‘FoxFlash’.

Last year it raised around $6.75 million through Nike Corporation and auctions that were held in Hong Kong, as a part of its awareness programme. The consistent effort in accomplishing its goal for the last sixteen years since its conception has definitely struck a chord with the people, especially the sufferers and every progress made is a step forward towards a better life for them.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE OPTIMIST CITIZEN – ISSUE 21 DATED 24 APR ’17.  GET EXCLUSIVE EARLY ACCESS TO THE STORIES, SUBSCRIBE NOW.
Shrija Ganguly | TOC

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