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Michael J. Fox Honored with ‘Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Courage’

Muhammed Ali and Michael J. Fox.

“Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare.”

These famous words from iconic boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali echoed throughout Michael J. Fox’s remarks as he accepted the first ever “Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Courage.” The award was presented by the late Muhammad’s wife and former Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) Board Member, Lonnie Ali, during the seventh annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on September 12 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Through a video message to accept the award, Michael said: “When I revealed my diagnosis to the world, Muhammad called me. His fearlessness was contagious. He showed me that we are part of something bigger. And he inspired me to embrace the cause and do more.”

Photos courtesy of Mark Seliger.

MJFF Co-Founder Debi Brooks joined Lonnie on stage to accept the award on Michael’s behalf, saying:

“The Ali family, and other families impacted by Parkinson’s, are at the heart of everything we do. Our Foundation is working urgently to speed research on their behalf. And we’re moved by the passion and commitment they provide to our mission. 

I often hear how inspired people are by Michael. But in reality: he is inspired by all of you. He does this work through purity of motive, never for himself, but for the millions of people worldwide waiting for the next breakthrough and a cure.

That is courage.”

The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards recognize individuals who are driven by a call to action to effect positive change in the world. Michael was included on an esteemed list of the night’s awardees including six youth leaders from around the world, Olympic swimming gold medalist Mark Tewksbury and Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang

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