Michael J. Fox suffered a series of injuries as a result of Parkinson’s disease, which he was diagnosed with in 1991 at the age of 29, the actor told Variety this week.
The 61-year-old Back to the Future star opened up about his battle with the disease, explaining the injuries he sustained from losing his balance.
According to the words National Institutes of Health.
“I broke that shoulder – it was replaced. I broke that elbow. I broke that arm. I had an infection that almost cost me that finger. I broke my face. I broke my humerus,” Fox told Variety.
Fox said he struggled to cope with the disease over the years, during which he suffered other personal losses and mental health issues, on top of already dealing with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
“I have assistants by my side quite a lot of the time in case I fall, and that lack of privacy is hard to deal with,” he said in an interview. “I lost family members, I lost my dog, I lost my freedom, I lost my health. I hesitate to use the term ‘depression’ because I’m not qualified to diagnose myself, but all the signs were there.”
Although it has not been easy, the “Family Ties” star said he has found solace in the support of his family, who have helped him deal with his health issues.
“I just like the little math problems of existence,” the actor said. “I like to wake up and think about these things and be with my family at the same time.”
And he’s come to the point where he’s accepting the effects of the debilitating disease on his body.
“My problem is that I fail. I trip over things and fall and break things. And that’s part of what it is,” Fox said. “But I’m hopeful and I feel like I won’t be breaking as many bones tomorrow. So that’s optimism.”
Since publicly announcing his illness in 1998, Fox has worked hard to raise money for Parkinson’s disease, a disease he has learned lacks funding for research and treatment development. The Michael J. Foundation is a non-profit organization. Fox, founded in 2000, picked up more than $1.5 billion for Parkinson’s disease research, according to its website.
Parkinson’s disease affects about 500,000 Americans, according to the data National Institutes of Healthbut some experts estimate that as many as one million Americans may have the condition because it often goes undiagnosed.
Fox retired from acting in 2020 due to illness due to difficulty learning lines and acting, but he will soon appear in a new documentary about his life, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, in which details his successful career, his road to sobriety, his battle with Parkinson’s disease, and his determination to continue living life on his own terms despite the disease’s disabling symptoms.
“No matter how much I sit here and talk to you about how I’ve philosophized about it and taken the weight of it, Parkinson’s still gives me a kick in the ass. I won’t win this. I’m going to lose,” Fox told the magazine. “But, there’s a lot to gain from losing.”