Actor Michael J. Fox became a movie phenomenon of the 80s with his roles in "Back to the Future" and "Family Ties". But besides his fame as a movie star, the now-retired actor is also highly regarded for his advocacy for Parkinson's disease.
Fox has suffered from the disease for decades, after he began showing symptoms of early-onset Parkinson's disease in 1991 while filming "Doc Hollywood." He was diagnosed soon after.
After years of raising awareness and funding research on the disease, the actor was recently awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 13th Annual Governors Awards of the Academy of Sciences and Arts. Cinematography.
He received the award from Woody Harrelson, who noted that despite suffering from the disease for so long, Fox has never considered himself a victim, instead facing the challenges head-on. and raised over a billion dollars through its fund.
Harrelson revealed that Fox had not asked for the role of an advocate for the disease, and yet, despite the many blockbusters he appeared in, his advocacy role is, by far, his best performance. According to Harrelson:
“Michael J. Fox sets the ultimate example of how to fight and how to live.”
Michael J. Fox accepts the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award alongside Tracy Pollan on stage during the 13th Governors Awards Ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at Fairmont Century Plaza on November 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Fox received the Oscar statuette to prolonged standing ovation, and when he started speaking, he was so appreciative that he said he might start to shake. He gave an emotional speech about his wife of 34 years, Tracy Pollan, for the support she has given him since he was diagnosed. He couldn't seem to find the right words and fumbled before saying:
“Tracy made it clear she was with me for the duration.”
He shared that he's faced a lot of challenges since being diagnosed, noting that while Parkinson's is an ever-evolving disease, it's been a gift to him. He then called his wife to the stage and also noted that he couldn't believe he had been standing there for so long.
His wife then kissed him passionately before returning to their seats. Also in attendance to see him receive the award were their four children Sam, twins Schuyler and Aquinnah, and Esme.
What Is the Current State of Michael J. Fox?
The past few years have been tough for the actor. He had an unlucky streak in 2018 after he suffered a broken arm following a risky spinal cord injury.
He recovered well, but then in the following months he broke his elbow, arm, cheek, shoulder, and hand. However, the past month or so has been a major milestone for the star, as he has made remarkable progress and is now able to walk without assistance.
He recovered and for the first time in a long time was able to walk without assistance. In an interview with People in October, the star noted that he's headed to a place where he's walking solidly again:
“I think it’s cool to walk by myself. It is. It’s fantastic.”
The actor first walked in public without support during their small reunion with Christopher Lloyd, his Back to the Future co-star, and more recently when accepting his humanitarian award. that.
Michael J. Fox: His life with his wife in battle with disease
Fox and Tracy have been married since 1988, but their love is growing stronger. Even after being diagnosed with the disease just three years after their marriage, Tracy never left her husband's side and was always her main support.
Fox recalls the day he broke the news of his diagnosis to his wife, saying that while they did not know what to expect while waiting for the results, all he remembers of that moment is that Tracy did not blink.
She has remained loyal and by his side all those years later, and Fox appreciates that he is living his best life now because his wife and children have stayed supportive and love him just the same.
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