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Why I Am Grateful to Michael J. Fox for Publicly Sharing His Battle With Parkinson's

Why do I applaud Michael J. Fox? How can I not!

He exemplifies fighting the good fight for all of us who live our lives day in and day out with chronic illness. He’s a true inspiration!

He’s continued to pursue his passion of acting despite the challenges of his disease. While I’m sure it would be easier to stay in the comforts of his home, he’s taken control of what he can and continues to not only live his dream but thrive in it. How inspiring!


Perhaps most importantly, he doesn’t hide in the shadows of his disease.  Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease he’s continued to work a job that very much puts him in the public spotlight. By going public he reminds us all that there is no shame in our illness, the symptoms and how they play out in real life.

He has also leveraged his fame and public image to advocate and raise money for his condition, creating greater awareness and generating increased money for research for a cure in hopes that someday less people (or no one!) will ever have to struggle with this disease again.

So many lessons can be learned from the bravery of Michael J. Fox. His refusal to let his disease control and define him definitely is one of the hardest lessons to learn. His strength and character that pushes him to fight each day and live in hope for a better day and ideally a cure is inspiring. He’s also taught us not be ashamed of the challenges life has thrown our way, to be so confident in who we are and what our life has become that we don’t use our precious little energy to hide it from the world. He’s done all this while fighting the battle of his life, literally.

While Michael J. Fox is just one of many celebrities that have bravely and generously shared their personal lives with us, so many of us would embrace the opportunity to see even more celebrities, particularly those with “invisible” illnesses like myalgic encephalomyelitis or fibromyalgia, take the unwavering, brave steps Michael J. Fox has taken and share their experiences to raise awareness and help fight for a cure.  If the world had a more accurate picture of what we go through each day, it would go a long way to helping those of us who live with such conditions daily, are questioned about the validity of them and denied rights because of them.

Hats off to Michael J. Fox and all the other celebrities who have bravely shared their personal lives and battles with us. You give me more strength, inspiration and encouragement than you will ever know!

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Photo courtesy of “The Michael J. Fox Show” Facebook page.