March 15, 2023 | 10:16 am
Michael J. Fox is thankful for the life he leads, even if it means struggling with Parkinson’s disease for decades.
Getty Images for SXSW
Michael J. Fox is grateful for the life he leads – even if it means struggling with Parkinson’s disease for decades.
The “Back to the Future” star opened up about his health condition on Tuesday while promoting his new documentary, “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
“Parkinson’s sucks — but it’s a great life,” says Fox, 61, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 at age 29.
“I don’t regret it,” he said as he sat next to his new movie director Davis Guggenheim, 59, of Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” fame.
“You do what you have to do, but you don’t want to kill yourself. And then I stopped.”
When asked how he “mobilized” people to become aware of the degenerative central nervous system disease, Fox said he simply “had no choice.”
“This is it,” he said during a Q&A for the film, which will stream on Apple TV+ later this year. “I have to give everything I have, and it’s not lip service. I show up and do what I can.”
“Pity is a benign form of abuse,” the actor continued. “I can feel sorry for myself, but I don’t have time for that.”
“There’s still something to learn from this, so let’s do that and move on,” he added.
The Canadian-born actor thanked his fans for their support throughout his career, saying, “My fans have basically given me my life.”
“I wanted to give these people who have done so much for me my time and gratitude,” he added. “It was great for me to hear from all of you.”
In 2000, Fox opened the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research – a move that has helped many find the help and support they need as they battle the disease.
He revealed his medical struggles in 1998 after paparazzi “berated” him for it.
In 2021, Fox opened up on “Entertainment Tonight” about how the paparazzi forced him to reveal his diagnosis to the public.
“It was seven or eight years after I was diagnosed… [and] the paparazzi and stuff, they stood outside my apartment and harassed me, like, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ Fox explained.
“I said, ‘I can’t let my neighbors handle this,’ so I came out and it was great. It was a great thing.”
“It was a big surprise to me that people reacted the way they reacted,” Fox continued.
“They responded with interest, wanting to find an answer to the disease, and then I saw that as a great opportunity. I didn’t get into this position to squander it.”