Michael J. Fox: Working towards cure for Parkinson’s cure “one of the great gifts of my life”

Helping wife with Parkinson’s, husband becomes advocate for a cure

Michael J. Fox: Working towards cure for Parkinson's cure
Michael J. Fox: Working towards cure for Parkinson's cure "one of the great gifts of my life"

A time-traveling Michael J. Fox astonished Christopher Lloyd in the 1985 movie “Back To The Future” … little imagining what his REAL future would hold.

Throughout the 1980s Michael J. Fox was the personification of youthful physicality.

Fox formed a team to raise money targeted for research that would lead to improved treatments to slow, stop and reverse the progression of the disease – and someday find a cure.

To date the Michael J. Fox Foundation has raised more than $800 million from private donations.

No one here would argue, at a panel of men and women taking part in a Fox Foundation online database called Fox Insight, where patients join researchers in the quest for breakthroughs.

Fox says he’s not expecting a cure in his lifetime, but he is expecting vastly-improved therapies.

Fox is more than just the face of Parkinson’s; with two bestselling memoirs, “Lucky Man” and “Always Looking Up,” infused indomitable spirit and optimism, he’s the face of hope.

Helping wife with Parkinson’s, husband becomes advocate for a cure

Helping wife with Parkinson’s, husband becomes advocate for a cure

Twenty-one years later, her husband and caretaker, Bill Clinch, 77, eagerly accepted an exclusive invitation to a gathering he never in a million years hoped to attend, the annual Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. Co-Sponsored by the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the March 19-21 invitation-only event brings 300 selected delegates from the United States along with Parkinson’s experts to the three-day forum.

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, nearly 1 million Americans and 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s, the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s.

The condition often displays as tremors or facial changes due to a loss of motor control, but Parkinson’s results also in low blood pressure, depression, anxiety and other symptoms.

Flash-forward two decades, Clinch says his wife has hallucinations, extreme balance problems and memory loss.

They joined the Parkinson Network of Mt. Diablo, a local support group serving people living with or caring for people with Parkinson’s.

A national registry, if it could be achieved, might reveal pockets of people with Parkinson’s where possible environmental or industrial causes could be studied.

“It’s a common mistake to think Parkinson’s is just tremors, just hands shaking. Fox has changed that a little. His scooting around in the chair in interviews on television shows it’s more than tremors. His head moves, he crosses and holds his leg so it doesn’t move around so much.”

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Michael J. Fox: Working towards cure for Parkinson’s cure “one of the great gifts of my life”
Michael J. Fox On Working Towards A Parkinson’s Cure
Michael J. Fox on working towards a Parkinson’s cure
Helping wife with Parkinson’s, husband becomes advocate for a cure

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