“It’s gettin’ tougher. Every day it’s tougher,” the 61-year-old actor admits in an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning.”
Michael J. Fox is speaking up about his Parkinson’s disease battle.
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In a sneak peek for an upcoming interview on “CBS Sunday Morning,” the 61-year-old actor, who was diagnosed with the brain condition more than three decades ago, revealed that his struggle is becoming “harder” and “tougher,” and that he doesn’t think he’ll live to be 80.
“My life is set up so I can pack Parkinson’s along with me if I have to,” Michael J. Fox said to journalist Jane Pauley, who asked if Parkinson’s will “make the call” for the “Back to the Future” star “at some point.”
“Yeah, it’s banging on the door,” Michael J. Fox replied, adding, “Yeah, I mean, I’m not gonna lie. It’s gettin’ hard, it’s gettin’ harder. It’s gettin’ tougher. Every day it’s tougher.”
“That’s, that’s the way it is,” he said. “I mean, you know, who do I see about that? …”
The “Teen Wolf” star discussed spinal surgery in 2018 and how it caused additional physical difficulties.
“I had spinal surgery. I had a tumor on my spine,” he said, adding that although the tumor was benign, the surgery “messed up my walking.”
Michael J. Fox stated that he began to shatter bones and fractured his arm, elbow, hand, and face.
When Pauley asked if the injuries were from “falling,” Fox said it’s “a big killer with Parkinson’s.”
“It’s falling … and aspirating food and getting pneumonia. All these subtle ways that gets ya,” he explained.
He added, “You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. So — so I’ve been — I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it. … I’m not gonna be 80. I’m not gonna be 80.
According to the National Institute of Health, Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder “that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.”
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 29 in 1991 and was one of the first celebrities to open up about his illness. In 2000, he founded his own nonprofit, The Michael J. Fox Nonprofit, dedicated to providing better therapies for persons living with Parkinson’s disease and researching a cure.
Over the years, Michael J. Fox has been open about the disease’s ups and downs, explaining that he is wheelchair-bound at times but can rebound and regain mobility. While it can be challenging, he says he wouldn’t change a thing and is always looking for “something to be grateful for.”
“Parkinson’s is the gift that keeps on taking. But it’s a gift, and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Fox shared at New York Comic-Con in October. “People like [‘Back to the Future’ co-star] Chris [Lloyd] have been there a lot for me, and so many of you have. It’s not about what I have, it’s about what I’ve been given, the voice to get this done, and help people out.”
The “CBS Sunday Morning” interview with Michael J. Fox will air on Sunday.