Canadian acting legend and Parkinson's activist Michael J. Fox is opening up about his ability to remain positive after a series of health setbacks and the death of his beloved mother.
Speaking with People, the Family Ties icon revealed that the past year has been a “struggle” and that his health, which includes Parkinson’s disease (for which he was diagnosed in 1991) got “worse.”
“It got worse,” he told the outlet. “I broke my cheek, then my hand, then my shoulder, had a replacement shoulder put in and broke my (right) arm, then I broke my elbow.”
“I’m 61 years old, and I’m feeling it a little bit more.”
Parkinson’s disease is an affliction that causes involuntary movements and stiffening of the muscles. There is no cure. As the Back To The Future star reminds us, these setbacks don’t exactly mean his condition is worsening.
“Just now I’m coming through where the last of my injuries are healing up," he says. He tells the US outlet that after his hand contracted an infection after surgery, which led to balance issues and falls, resulting in some other injuries.
“Life is interesting. It deals you these things," he says, adding that somehow all of this didn’t diminish his positivity or his ability to smile.
"I was never really a cranky guy, but I got very cranky and short with people," he admits. "I try to nip it in the bud. I always think of these aides who work with me. And I often say to them, 'Whatever I say, just imagine I said "please" at the beginning and "thank you" at the end. Just take a second and absorb that I might have said that if I was more myself, but I didn't, so I apologize.' "
In addition to these issues, his beloved mother Phyllis passed away in September at the age of 92, and the loss was something he had to deal with in conjunction with his health scares. He credits his mother’s resilience as helping him learn how to cope.
Michael’s father served 25 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and as he tells it, his mother found ways to make military life happy for the family.
“Army wives are masters of adaptation," he says. "They just know how to approach a new situation, get the house together, get the schools set up, get a job on the side — because the military salary is nothing. As kids, we didn't get it. Now I get it."
“It’s been a struggle, but I’m happy,” he concludes. “I say that because I hope on some level people can find happiness in spite of what they’re going through.”
Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reunited at NYC Comic Con today— Wu-Tang is for the Children (@WUTangKids) October 9, 2022
*I’m not crying, you’re crying pic.twitter.com/0A8QLqmyk3
This comes on the heels of Michael’s emotional reunion with his Back To The Future co-star, Christopher Lloyd at New York's ComicCon in early October, where the faces behind Marty Mcfly and Doc gushed about each other's abilities as performers, per NME.