Thursday, December 6, 2007

Finding a Cure: Fox works to find the cure for Parkinson's Disease

Actor Michael J. Fox - best known for his long-standing role as Alex P. Keaton on the hit sitcom "Family Ties" - kept his Parkinson's Disease a secret from the public for almost seven years. But after disclosing his condition in 1998, he knew he needed to take an active role in beating the disease.

"After I went public, people began to have conversation about Parkinson's," he said. "I started to go online and people were really talking about this. I realized I had become a student of this disease and truly had a responsibility to engage in this community."

Fox decided to form his own foundation to fund research of Parkinson's and educate others about what they can do to fight the disease. "With Parkinson's, the science is ahead of the money, and the idea of pursuing the science became very compelling to me."

But although Fox's foundation has made a huge impact on Parkinson's research (the foundation has given some $100 million to research), he still wonders why more isn't being done. "Who's in charge of finding a cure? There is $100 billion pt [into medical research]... you'd think there would be a Department of Cures or a Secretary of Cures."

In the meantime, Fox will continue his work in hopes of finding a cure. "We need to climb more mountains," he said. "My hope is that we find ways to link the academic world with the business world. That's what our foundation is doing and will continue to do."

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