WASHINGTON, D.C. (Tuesday, February 28) -- As part of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) 2017 Parkinson's Policy Forum, Michael J. Fox met with bipartisan members of the House of Representatives today to urge lawmakers to support policies that safeguard federal research funding and access to care for the more than 1 million Americans living with Parkinson's disease (PD).
"Our Foundation is grateful for the effort, farsightedness and integrity of the members of Congress and their staff who took the time to hear from the nationwide Parkinson's community today -- 200 individuals representing 43 states," said Michael J. Fox. "We stand ready to work together to preserve critical federal funds for research and ensure access to health care for everyone living with Parkinson's."
The following members of the House of Representatives were in attendance: Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).
Fox's meeting took place on the Foundation's Hill Day as part of the 2017 Parkinson's Policy Forum, where 200 people living with Parkinson's and caregivers from across the country met with lawmakers on the Hill to discuss key issues impacting the Parkinson's community.
The Forum brought together Foundation leadership and advocates to discuss the current Parkinson's policy landscape, honor distinguished PD advocates and mobilize Hill Day activities to educate Congress on legislative issues that matter most to those affected by Parkinson's disease.
Parts of the Forum were live streamed via Facebook Live and can be accessed on MJFF's Facebook page.
Since inception, MJFF has invested more than $700 million in Parkinson's research, complementing federal funding, which is imperative to drive progress in drug and device development from basic research through FDA approval. In addition to supporting continued and increased federal funding for research, MJFF's other policy priorities include federal support for drug development and approvals, and safeguarding access to care and support.
To learn more about MJFF's work in public policy, visit www.michaeljfox.org/policy.
About Michael J. Fox
Born in Canada, Michael J. Fox is an award-winning television and film actor. In 1991, at age 29, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, news he shared publicly in 1998. In 1999, he testified before Congress to advocate for greater federal investment in Parkinson's research. A year later, in 2000, he established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research to advance scientific progress toward a cure. He sits on the Foundation's Board of Directors and serves as its inspirational leader.
Fox is the bestselling author of three books and remains in demand as an actor. He recently thrilled audiences with a multi-episode guest arc in the CBS hit drama "The Good Wife," earning 2011 and 2016 Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
Fox and his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, have four children.
Read more about Michael's story here.
About Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic, degenerative neurological disease that affects one in 100 people over age 60. Currently, there is no treatment to slow, stop or reverse the progression of PD, nor is there a cure. Existing Parkinson's treatments are limited in their ability to address patients' symptoms and remain effective over time. There is no diagnostic test for Parkinson's, so the rate of under-diagnosis can be relatively high. At least 1 million people in the United States and more than 5 million worldwide are living with PD. Motor and non-motor symptoms can include (but are not limited to) resting tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement, as well as depression, sleep disorders and cognitive impairment.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, advocacy volunteers and donors. In addition to funding more than $700 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.
For more information, visit www.michaeljfox.org.