The 'Back to the Future' star shared his current outlook on life while living with Parkinson’s disease
After living with Parkinson’s disease for more than 30 years, Michael J. Fox is still determined to keep a positive mindset.
In his cover story for Town & Country’s Philanthropy issue, the 62-year-old Back to the Future star opened up about living with Parkinson’s disease, an incurable degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, and how it’s changed his outlook on life.
“I’ve said Parkinson’s is a gift,” he told the outlet. “It’s the gift that keeps on taking, but it has changed my life in so many positive ways.”
One way is through his creation of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which funds research for the development of therapies for those living with Parkinson’s.
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Although he’s remained optimistic about his own health over the years, Fox recalled years of struggling with his health — both related and unrelated to his Parkinson’s.
Not only did he have a spinal surgery that could’ve left him paralyzed, but he’s also had several falls that caused him to break both arms, break his hand, smash his orbital bone and cheek, and more. “It was a tsunami of misfortune,” he said.
However, the actor refers to himself as a “tough son of a bitch” and isn’t afraid of his health battle — or even death.
“One day I’ll run out of gas,” Fox said. “One day I’ll just say, ‘It’s not going to happen. I’m not going out today.’ If that comes, I’ll allow myself that. I’m 62 years old. Certainly, if I were to pass away tomorrow, it would be premature, but it wouldn’t be unheard of. And so, no, I don’t fear that.”
Back in May, Fox also opened up to PEOPLE about how progressive his Parkinson’s symptoms have become, sharing that he doesn't like to dwell on what might happen tomorrow.
"I truly live one day at a time," he said. "I live for each moment and I love each day."
"The average age of death is 77. It's not that far out on a limb," he added with a laugh.
Joking aside, Fox said he's glad he's been able to do as much as he has. "If you told me when I was 29 when they just diagnosed it, that at 61 I'd still be going at it with a film to promote, that life would be so full, I never would have guessed it," he told PEOPLE.
"I'm cautiously optimistic, but mostly optimistic, not so much cautious, as my family would say," continued Fox, who shares four children, Sam, 34, twins Aquinnah and Schuyler, 28, and Esmé, 22, with his wife of 35 years, Tracy Pollan, 63.
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