Over the weekend, the world mourned the passing of Muhammad Ali and paid respect to his legacy. A boxing legend, a humanitarian and an advocate for the Parkinson’s community, fans around the world shared stories that reaffirmed Ali’s status as “The Greatest.”
In remembrance of Ali, Michael J. Fox and MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD, penned a commentary for CNN on “How to Honor Muhammad Ali.” Read the full piece here.
There are stars, and then there are comets. Muhammad Ali was radiant; such a bright and fast light only rarely streaks across the sky. So it is odd to recollect that his incomparable athletic career ultimately played out in fewer years than the three decades he spent fighting Parkinson's disease.
Countless people living with Parkinson's, including one of the authors of this piece, looked up to Ali as a role model of equanimity and fearlessness in the face of Parkinson's degeneration.
Looking forward, the op-ed shared how we can collectively honor Ali’s memory by curing the disease that he lived with for more than thirty years.
As the founder and the CEO of a foundation dedicated to Parkinson’s research and therapeutic development, we have cast ourselves in the role of opponent to this status quo. We are determined to change how Parkinson’s is diagnosed and treated, and to create a world in which Parkinson’s finally can be cured — in memory of Ali (who was active with our foundation from its earliest days) and on behalf of the millions worldwide living with the disease today.
And in conclusion, Michael and Todd reflected on one of Ali’s most memorable quotes and our shared commitment to end Parkinson’s.
"Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare," Ali famously said. Curing Parkinson's disease once seemed impossible. But momentum is at last on our side. We believe without fail that cures are within reach if we dare to do more, not less. Muhammad Ali showed us what it means to have the heart of a champion. Now is our chance to honor him by finishing the fight he could not.