Michael J. Fox has described sharing his Parkinson’s diagnosis with the world as the “greatest thing”.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 60-year-old recalled how his treatment by paparazzi informed his decision to announce the health update.
“It was seven or eight years after I had been diagnosed,” the Emmy winner recalled. “The paparazzi and stuff, they would stand outside my apartment and heckle at me, like, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ I said, ‘I can’t be making my neighbours deal with this,’ so I came out, and it was great. It was a great thing.”
The Back to the Future star was first diagnosed with the degenerative neurological disorder in 1991, but did not reveal his diagnosis to the public until 1998. Although pressure from the press played into his decision to go public with his health issues, he insisted he was happy that it allowed him to educate others on the condition.
“It was a great surprise to me that people responded the way they responded,” Fox continued. “They responded with interest, in the desire to find an answer to the disease, and then I saw that as a great opportunity. I didn’t get put in this position to squander it.”
Reflecting on his condition now, the actor said in an interview with People that he’s in a “really great groove” these days.
“Every day is different,” he admitted. “The circle (of what I can do) gets smaller. But I’m happy I’ve found things in the middle of the circle that can’t be touched, like my family and the time I have with them.”