Michael J. Fox Says Parkinson’s Battle Is Getting ‘Harder,’ Doesn’t Think He’ll Live to 80

“It’s gettin’ tougher. Every day it’s tougher,” the 61-year-old actor admits in an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning.”
Michael J. Fox is opening up about his battle with Parkinson’s disease.

In a preview for an upcoming appearance on “CBS Sunday Morning,” the 61-year-old actor — who was diagnosed with the brain disorder over three decades ago — shared that his battle is getting “harder” and “tougher,” and admitted that he doesn’t believe he’ll live to be 80.

“My life is set up so I can pack Parkinson’s along with me if I have to,” Fox said to journalist Jane Pauley, who asked if Parkinson’s will “make the call” for the “Back to the Future” star “at some point.”

“Yeah, it’s banging on the door,” Fox replied, adding, “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.”

“That’s, that’s the way it is,” he said. “I mean, you know, who do I see about that? …”

The “Teen Wolf” star went on to recall undergoing spinal surgery in 2018, and how it resulted in further physical complications.

“I had spinal surgery. I had a tumor on my spine,” he said, adding that although the tumor was benign, the surgery “messed up my walking.”

Fox said he began to break bones, noting that he fractured his arm, an elbow, a hand and his face.

When Pauley asked if the injuries were from “falling,” Fox said it’s “a big killer with Parkinson’s.”

“It’s falling … and aspirating food and getting pneumonia. All these subtle ways that gets ya,” he explained.

He added, “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.

According to the National Institute of Health, Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder “that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.”

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 when he was just 29 and was one of the first celebrities to go public with his battle. He even established his own foundation — The Michael J. Fox Foundation — in 2000, dedicated to developing improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s disease and researching to find a cure.

Over the years, Fox has been open about the ups and downs of the disease, explaining that at times he is wheelchair-bound but can rebound and regain mobility. While it can be difficult, he said he wouldn’t change anything and is always looking for “something to be grateful for.”

“Parkinson’s is the gift that keeps on taking. But it’s a gift, and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Fox shared at New York Comic-Con in October. “People like [‘Back to the Future’ co-star] Chris [Lloyd] have been there a lot for me, and so many of you have. It’s not about what I have, it’s about what I’ve been given, the voice to get this done, and help people out.”

Fox’s “CBS Sunday Morning” interview airs on Sunday.

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