It’s been three decades since Hollywood veteran Michael J. Fox received his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Even so, the memories of his wife’s reaction to the sad revelation still lighten up his heart.
Since discovering his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 1991, Canadian actor Michael J. Fox embarked on a quest to defeat the nervous system-degenerating disease.
Backing him on his quest is his wife of thirty-two years, Tracy Pollan, who has remained by his side through his years of struggles.
In a recent interview, Fox opened up about his wife’s support through his difficult time. He also recounted the 60-year-old’s first reaction after finding out about the sickness.
Speaking to Willie Geist on “Sunday Today,” the actor admitted that in addition to her infallible support, Pollan’s unexpected reaction to his condition topped the list of things he loved about the actress. He noted:
“We didn’t know what to expect. One of the things I’ll always love Tracy for is that at that moment, she didn’t blink.”
Recalling the moment brought tears to Fox’s eyes, as he admitted to Geist that Pullan hadn’t blinked ever since. The “Family Ties” star also reaffirmed how important his wife was in his journey so far, as Parkinson was not something one could handle without a partner.
Besides being his constant companion and support, the actor’s wife has gifted him a large family comprising four children despite his condition.
Interestingly, Fox was never one to stay put and do nothing. Although he kept his condition away from the public for seven years, he soon accepted his fate. While learning to deal with the disease, the 59-year-old also began overseeing a cause to find a cure for Parkinson’s syndrome.
He established the Michael J. Fox Foundation with the sole aim of eliminating Parkinson’s disease. The foundation has garnered a record $1 billion in research funding. With no cure in sight yet, the star has been forced to adopt some excruciating lifestyle changes. He once recalled:
“I used to walk fast, but every step is now like a frigging math problem, so I take it low. And with acting, I used to race to the punchline. But I started to really pay attention because I couldn’t just skate over any moment.”
At fifty-nine, Fox could only hope for a positive change that could restore his health, perhaps, a life-changing miracle. Notably, Michael Fox has not always had this optimistic outlook towards Parkinson, or life in general.
When the icon first learned of his condition, his first instinct was to turn to alcohol. As a result, he doubled his alcohol intake, which proved itself a wrong decision.
With the help of Tracy Pollan, coupled with his determination to find answers, the actor eventually quit drinking. Giving up the bottle two years after his diagnosis made Fox’s journey more bearable, as he “started to see things more clearly.”
To date, Michael Fox has maintained his positive views about life and has remained optimistic even as his condition depreciates with age.