It seems a cliché to say something or someone is an inspiration but in almost every sense that’s exactly what Michael J. Fox is. I absolutely loved him and his movies as a child, and let’s face it as an adult, Back to the Future is still easily in my top 5 movies of all time. I admire anything he appears in, from Doc Hollywood through to Spin City and The Good Wife.
When Fox announced to the world he had Parkinson’s Disease it seemed unfathomable, that was an old person’s disease right? And so began his second career as an activist and author, raising awareness of the disease, busting myths about the illness, and raising A LOT of money for Parkinson’s research.
I have just finished his latest memoir, No Time Like the Future – An Optimist Considers Mortality, and it’s hard to avoid using the i word in spades. This is Fox’s fourth book and I’ve read them all, initially reading them as I tried to learn more about a disease that had affected someone close to me. His optimism in the face of adversity has always been hugely comforting to me.
The new book is an honest, humble and poignant reflection on his reputation as an optimist and how this faced a severe test with his latest health concerns (a tumour on his spine and a severely broken arm), and how he had to learn to walk again.
Fox considers his life so far, aging, grown-up kids and the status of his acting career in light of his health challenges. It is a thoughtful read that resonated with me on many levels. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and be sure to check out the amazing and truly inspirational work of The Michael J. Fox Foundation.