A funny, highly personal, gorgeously written account of what its like to be a 30-year-old man who is told he has an 80-year-olds disease.
"If you were to rush in to this room right now and announce that you had struck a deal-with God, Allah, Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Bill Gates, whomever-in which the ten years since my diagnosis could be magically taken away, traded in for ten more years as the person I was before, I would, without a moment's hesitation, tell you to take a hike." -- Michael J. Fox
In September 1998, Michael J. Fox stunned the world by announcing he had been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease -- a degenerative neurological condition. In fact, he had been secretly fighting it for seven years. The worldwide response was staggering. Fortunately, he had accepted the diagnosis and by the time the public started grieving for him, he had stopped grieving for himself. Now, with the same passion, humor, and energy that Fox has invested in his dozens of performances over the last 18 years, he tells the story of his life, his career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinsons.
Combining his trademark ironic sensibility and keen sense of the absurd, he recounts his life -- from his childhood in a small town in western Canada to his meteoric rise in film and television which made him a worldwide celebrity. Most importantly however, he writes of the last 10 years, during which -- with the unswerving support of his wife, family, and friends -- he has dealt with his illness. He talks about what Parkinsons has given him: the chance to appreciate a wonderful life and career, and the opportunity to help search for a cure and spread public awareness of the disease. He is a very lucky man, indeed.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation
Michael J. Fox is donating the profits from his book to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research, which is dedicated to fast-forwarding the cure for Parkinsons disease. The Foundation will move aggressively to identify the most promising research and raise the funds to assure that a cure is found for the millions of people living with this disorder. The Foundations web site, MichaelJFox.org, carries the latest pertinent information about Parkinsons disease, including:
Chapter One: A Wake-up Call
Gainsville, Florida - November 1990
I woke up to find the message in my left hand. It had me trembling. It wasn't a fax, telegram, memo, or the usual sort of missive bringing disturbing news. In fact, my hand held nothing at all. The trembling was the message.
I was feeling a little disoriented. I'd only been shooting the movie in Florida for a week or so, and the massive, pink-lacquered, four-poster bed surrounded by the pastel hues of the University Center Hotel's Presidential Suite still came as a bit of a shock each morning. Oh yeah: and I had a ferocious hangover. That was less shocking.
It was a Tuesday morning, so while I couldn't recall the exact details of the previous night's debauchery, it was a pretty safe bet that it had something to do with Monday Night Football. In those first few seconds of consciousness, I didn't know what time it was, but I could be fairly certain that I hadn't overslept. If I...
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Alan Alda, one of Americas most recognizable and acclaimed actors, has written a memoir as elegant, funny, and affecting as his greatest performances.
Reminds us that life is not to be taken for granted but to be lived fully with zeal, curiosity, and gratitude. That is a powerful message in itself, but it is the messenger who gives it its full resonance.
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