Michael J. Fox sat down for an intimate interview with New York Times Magazine columnist David Marchese. In a series of questions and answers, Michael talked at length about how he stays positive while navigating a chronic illness, how Parkinson's impacted his acting career, and how close we are to finding a cure.
Michael shares how he reacted after first learning he had Parkinson's:
I was so scared. I was so unfamiliar with Parkinson's. Someone is saying your life is going to be completely changed. Yeah? When? I'm fine now but back then I wasn't in the "I'm fine now." I was in the "I'm going to be bad." .... And it wasn't until '94 that I started getting it. That's when I started to accept the disease -- and acceptance doesn't mean resignation. It means understanding and dealing straightforwardly.
When The Michael J. Fox Foundation was founded in 2000, Michael would speak openly about his hopes to find a cure within 10 years. Michael explains how his thinking has evolved:
I still believe in a cure. For so long Sinemet L-dopa was the gold standard. That was all we had, and it gave relief but it only lasted a certain amount of time and led to dyskinesias and other side-effects. So it was important to find better treatments. There's a new drug that's been approved that's like a rescue inhaler for when you freeze. Because freezing is a very real thing for Parkinson's patients. I could be sitting here with my foot on fire and a glass of water over there on the table and all I'd be able to do is think about how good it would feel to pour that water on my foot. Treatments for that can make a huge difference in people's lives. Now, if we can prophylactically keep Parkinson's symptoms from developing in a person, is that a cure? No. Would I take it? Yes.