Michael J. Fox rose to prominence in the 1980s with parts in “Back to the Future” and “Family Ties.” Aside from his renown as a film star, the now-retired actor is also well-known for his engagement in Parkinson’s disease awareness.
Fox has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for decades, since experiencing signs of early-onset Parkinson’s disease while filming “Doc Hollywood” in 1991. He was diagnosed not long after.
The actor just won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 13th Annual Governors Award after years of raising awareness and cash for the disease’s research.
Woody Harrelson presented him with the honor, noting that despite suffering from the illness for so long, Fox never considered himself as a victim, rather addressing his obstacles head on and raising over a billion dollars via his foundation.
Harrelson claimed that Fox did not want the job of illness champion, and yet, despite his numerous blockbusters, his advocacy part is by far his greatest performance. Michael J. Fox gives the greatest example of how to battle and how to live, says Harrelson.
Fox won the Oscar trophy amid a lengthy standing ovation, and as he tried to speak, he said he could start shaking. He offered a heartfelt address thanking his wife of 34 years, Tracy Pollan, for her continuous encouragement since his diagnosis. He struggled to find the appropriate words and fumbled before saying that Tracy made it clear she was staying with him for the long haul.
He revealed that he had encountered several hurdles since his diagnosis, but that despite Parkinson’s being a condition that never goes away, it has been a blessing to him. He then called his wife to the platform, saying he couldn’t believe he’d been standing there for so long.
Before returning to their seats, his wife kissed him tenderly. Their four kids, Sam, twins Schuyler and Aquinnah, and Esme, were all present to watch him collect the prize.
Fox and Tracy have been married since 1988, yet their love gets stronger with each passing year. Tracy has never left her husband’s side, even after being diagnosed with the illness barely three years into their marriage.
Fox recounts telling his wife about his illness, noting that while they didn’t know what to anticipate while waiting for the findings, all he recalls is Tracy not blinking.
She has remained faithful and at his side all these years later, and Fox acknowledges that he is now enjoying his best life since his wife and kids have remained encouraging and love him just as much.