Michael J Fox can’t stand being pitied for having Parkinson’s disease.
The 52-year-old actor was diagnosed with the illness – which causes degeneration of the nervous system in sufferers often causing involuntary tremors and muscle spasms – at the age of 30 and was told he would be lucky if could still work when he was 40.
Although the disease has had a huge impact on the quality of his life, he insists he’s learnt to live with it and doesn’t want anyone to ever feel sorry for him.
Fox said: “Because of all the things I’ve done, nobody pities me, and that’s great. I couldn’t stand it. Pity is just another form of abuse.”
‘I chose not to choose anger’
TheBack to the Futurestar – who is married to Tracy Pollan and has four children, Sam, 24, 18-year-old twins Aquinnah and Schuyler, and 11-year-old Esmé – prefers to accept his illness rather than stress out about it because he has learnt to maintain a positive attitude no matter what.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, he explained: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset. It is what it is. All my happy talk and rah-rah cheering that’s as real as someone else’s anger. I chose not to choose anger.”
The award-winning actor set up the Michael J Fox Foundation to help other Parkinson’s disease sufferers – who include Muhammad Ali and Billy Connolly – and he is currently back on TV screens inThe Michael J. Fox Show, a comedy series loosely based on his life.