Michael J. Fox reflects on exceeding his doctor’s prognosis from 1998, “You can do anything”

The iconic star of the big and small screen is celebrating People Magazine’s 50th anniversary with some retrospection on their story that revealed his diagnosis.

michael j. fox

People Magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the publication is heading back into its vault to reminisce about some of the most important, engaging stories that they have been able to cover over the years. One such story is the shocking revelation and amazing journey that Michael J. Fox embarked on when he was revealed to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1998. Fox, in the middle of his Spin City run that brought him back to the TV glory days, would announce to the world that he had been secretly battling this condition since his diagnosis in 1991 while he was filming Doc Hollywood.

At the time of the announcement, Fox’s doctor gave his prognosis and said that he would be “hopeful that Fox will be functional for at least another 10 years and maybe well into old age.” Fox is now 62, but he has definitely exceeded the initial thought of him being functional for the next 10 years as he is now going on strong for more than 25 years. The Back to the Future star continues to keep his expectations realistic. However, even he can’t help but marvel at his accomplishments. He tells People in their anniversary issue, “What I believed then and what I believe now, I might not put it in the same words, but you can do anything. Anything. You don’t have to follow other people’s prognostications for what life is going to be. Life’s going to be what you make it.”

The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which dedicates its time to Parkinson’s research, has taken a substantial step last year when they found a biomarker that can help determine if people have Parkinson’s before symptoms start. Fox explained, “It was one of the few times I cried about what we were doing. We wanted to find a way that we can diagnose the disease before the symptoms are there. Because then we could treat it, and you’d never have it. It was a big break — and a great moment.”

Recently, Fox would tell Entertainment Tonight he was open to possibly act again despite retiring after his condition hindered his ability to remember lines. Fox told ET that his priorities changed back in 1991 when he first received his Parkinson’s diagnosis. “My biggest goal, I think, was to raise a family. We have four amazing kids, and that’s been the big thing,” Fox told the entertainment news show. He continued, “And then the other is with the [Michael J. Fox] foundation.” However, when his documentary Still was brought up to him, it “just happened” and Fox says it ended up being a “big thrill,” so “if someone offers me a part, and I do it, and I have a good time, great.” It wasn’t lost on him that his options are very limited, but the Family Ties star would tell the publication he would accept a role “if something came up that I could put my realities into it — my challenges — if I could figure it out.”

Source: People

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.