Foundation co-founders Michael J. Fox and Debi Brooks shared the Foundation's history and inspiration at the Forbes 400 Summit on Wednesday.
After going public with his diagnosis, Michael saw a chance to put the spotlight on Parkinson's research.
“I saw the foundation as an opportunity for me as a patient to drive the agenda,” said Michael, in Forbes. “It’s hard to think of it as revolutionary, it just makes sense.”
His first step was finding a co-founder with intuition and business-savvy. He chose Debi Brooks, who worked in the finance sector. She soon suggested changes to the traditional non-profit approach. Forbes writes:
Within eight weeks of starting the foundation Brooks said the foundation wanted to fund a biotech company and were told that this “isn’t done.” She said they quickly learned that every assumption in the nonprofit world had to be challenged […]They also realized that while doctors and researchers meant well, the patient’s voice was often missing from the dialogue around the disease.
As the Foundation has grown, it's brought more voices into the conversation as well. Today, Parkinson’s researchers also collaborate with those studying other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Read more about the Foundation's efficiency and approach.