Actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991 when he was just 29. In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” anchor Jane Pauley, Fox, now 61, says dealing with the incurable disease is getting more challenging, and he can’t imagine living until he’s 80.
The revealing and emotional interview will be broadcast on “CBS Sunday Morning” April 30 and streamed on Paramount+.
In a wide-ranging conversation, Fox talks with Pauley about his life today; the recent breakthrough in research announced by his foundation identifying a genetic biomarker that could lead to earlier diagnosis; and how, with gratitude, optimism is sustainable.
Below are some excerpts from the interview:
MICHAEL J. FOX: My life is set up so I can pack Parkinson’s along with me if I have to.
JANE PAULEY: You’ve not squandered any of your capacity. But at some point, Parkinson’s gonna make the call for you, isn’t it?
FOX: Yeah, it’s, it’s banging on the door. Yeah, I mean, I’m not gonna lie. It’s gettin’ hard, it’s gettin’ harder. It’s gettin’ tougher. Every day it’s tougher. But, but, that’s, that’s the way it is. I mean, you know, who do I see about that? …
FOX: I had spinal surgery. I had a tumor on my spine. And – and – and it was benign, but it messed up my walking. … And then, started to break stuff. Bro, broke this arm, and I broke this arm, I broke this elbow. I broke my face. I broke my hand.
PAULEY: Falling on things?
FOX: Which is a big killer with Parkinson’s. It’s falling … and aspirating food and getting pneumonia. All these subtle ways that gets ya’. … You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. So – so I’ve been – I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it. … I’m not gonna be 80. I’m not gonna be 80.
The Emmy Award-winning “Sunday Morning” is broadcast Sundays on CBS beginning at 9 a.m. ET. “Sunday Morning” also streams on the CBS News app [beginning at 12 p.m. ET] and on Paramount+, and is available on cbs.com and cbsnews.com.
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To watch a trailer for “Still” click on the video player below: