"If you were to rush in to this room right now and announce that you
had struck a deal-with God, Allah, Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Bill Gates,
whomever-in which the ten years since my diagnosis could be magically taken
away, traded in for ten more years as the person I was before, I would, without
a moment's hesitation, tell you to take a hike."
Name: Michael J. Fox
Home: Edmonton, Canada
Birth Year: 1961
Parkinson's Status: Patient
Major Symptoms: Tremor
J. Fox with Todd and Nick
The members of the LONGITUDE team met up with Michael J.
Fox in Vancouver, Canada, while he was visiting family over the year-end
holidays. Fox, who has been
suffering from Parkinson's Disease since 1991, hid his diagnosis from the public until
1998. Since then he has committed himself to bringing an end to it by
2010, using his celebrity to launch the disease into the public eye.
He was excited about the teamís efforts and was very
thankful for their proactive approach to combating this neurological disorder by
around-the-world expedition as a way to drive the condition into the public
spotlight. Although Fox has done a tremendous amount for the disease himself, finding of a cure relies on
dedicated community efforts.
Fox, who has been in the spotlight since the early eighties, challenged the
Parkinsonís community to give up their vanity and fight for a cure.
It is not exactly glamorous to have a tremor, but admitting you have the
disease allows family and friends to participate in the fight against
Parkinsonís disease. Many people just hide the condition, not allowing family and
friends to know about its devastating effects. When people are silent about the
symptoms of the disease, its ramifications, and our proximity to a cure, they
are less likely to get involved in efforts to expedite an end to
Team Members enjoyed meeting with Fox and sharing with
about the places they have visited, including personal stories from people
around the world who are battling Parkinsonís Disease.
Taking the keys of the vehicle he had just autographed, Michael J. Fox took Drive
Around the World team members on a tour of his home town of Vancouver, British
All had a great time as Michael pointed out different hot spots,
embellishing each with his own anecdotes. Although the
LONGITUDE team has been to countless cities, expedition leader Nick Baggarly
agreed that it ďsure is nice to have a guide
to take you around a new place.Ē
Although, Fox is a leading figure in the fight for a Parkinsonís cure, he is
not sad that he has been affected by it. In his book Lucky Man he writes
about his life, his diagnosis, and coming to terms with the disease (to read an
http://www.michaeljfox.org/news/article.php?id=5 ). He discusses the life
lessons he has learned from the disease and how his slowing down helped him
realize the importance of the people in his life.