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Michael J. Fox: 'I was supposed to be disabled by now'

Published 08/11/2016

Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox meditates to help him remain still.

Michael J. Fox was told by doctors that his battle with Parkinson's disease would mean he would be "pretty much disabled" by now.

The Back to the Future actor was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder of the nervous system in 1991, when he was 29 years old, but he didn't go public with his health crisis for seven years, instead spending that time working as he was convinced his career would be over soon.

Doctors predicted the Michael, 55, wouldn’t be able to work after a decade, but the star insists he's still going strong 25 years later.

"I realised it was a real awakening to me because I had been kind of keeping this secret," he told Haute Living magazine. "I was diagnosed 25 years ago, and I was only supposed to work for another 10 years. I was supposed to be pretty much disabled by now. I’m far from it. This is as bad as I get, and I can still go to the store and go marketing.

"I don’t have expectations, but whatever happens, happens. I hope it’s a good thing, and I trust it’ll be a good thing... My acceptance is not resignation. I can accept something for what it is and then beyond that move on to rectify that, remedy it, or change it in some way. I have accepted to acknowledge it."

He even added that the tremors he used to experience in earlier years aren't as bad any more but his biggest problem now is finding his balance. In order to strengthen his core, Michael boxes with a trainer and meets with a physical therapist regularly. He also practices meditation.

"The only way I don’t move, in even the subtlest ways, is when I’m sleeping," he said. "The brain activity is to a point where you’re not moving, you don’t move. I don’t shift in my sleep. If I shift, I’m awake. I’m the same way when I do meditation. If I do it sincerely, then my brain slows down enough that my body gets still."

Since his diagnosis, Michael has continued working, with recent roles in The Good Wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm and the short-lived sitcom The Michael J. Fox show, while also focusing on the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which raises funds for research into Parkinson’s disease.

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