Michael J Fox has been inspired by Muhammad Ali in his fight against Parkinson's disease
The 60-year-old actor was diagnosed with the disorder in 1991, and he's admitted to taking inspiration from the legendary boxer, who also battled Parkinson's prior to his death in June 2016
4 December 2021
The 'Back to the Future' star shared: "I used to avoid watching myself on the TV shows I did when I was much younger, because I was healthier then and showed no signs of Parkinson’s. But I wondered about Ali, whom I had become friendly with.
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"He’d been such a beautiful athlete before Parkinson’s. So, after he died, I asked his wife, Lonnie, if he ever watched recordings of his fights. 'He watched for hours,' she said. 'He loved it!' And I thought, Yeah, I should love it, too. It’s a legacy, some graffiti that leaves a message of positivity."
Michael sometimes feels frustrated by his declining health, but he's also increasingly willing to accept help from his wife Tracy.
Asked how he copes with Parkinson’s, he told AARP The Magazine's December 2021/January 2022 issue: "I’ve ceded a lot of things over.
"If I feel at all rushed and I have to do something multiple times, it’s just not going to serve me. When I was putting on my shoes the other day, Tracy said, 'You want some help with that?' I said, 'Well, it will take me a couple of minutes to put my shoes on. If you do it, it’ll take a minute.' So, you weigh it up.
"Among the things that bother me the most right now is how hard it is to communicate quickly through electronic means. Voice-enabled technology just isn’t good enough. You say, 'I’m catching a lot of s*** for that'
and wind up with, 'I’m flying on a ship tomorrow.' It’s so frustrating."