(CNN) Michael J Fox Focuses on optimism and gratitude as he discusses living with Parkinson’s disease in a new interview with Jane Pauli for “CBS Sunday Morning. “
the “Back to the futureThe star, now 61, told the broadcaster that Parkinson’s disease is “the gift you keep taking,” and he didn’t shy away from the more realistic effects of the incurable degenerative disease, which affects the nervous system and motor skills including walking and speech.
“I’m not going to lie,” said Fox, “it’s getting harder, every day it’s getting harder.”
His life with his family, and how living with Parkinson’s disease affects their daily reality, will be covered in the new documentary “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” which premieres on Apple TV+ next month.
The actor, who first rose to fame as conservative Alex P. Keaton 35 years ago when the sitcom “Family Ties” premiered, explained in the interview that he recently underwent spinal surgery for a benign tumor, suffered two broken arms, and a broken neck. In the hand and fractures in the face as a result of the fall.
“(Falls) are a huge killer of Parkinson’s disease,” Fox noted. “It’s drooling, it’s breathing from food and pneumonia — all these subtle ways[that]get you up. You don’t die of Parkinson’s disease. You die of Parkinson’s disease.”
But the actor also mentioned that he’s had the disease for “30 or more years,” and that “his life is set up so that I can pack my Parkinson’s disease with me if I have to.”
“I know how hard this is for people, and I know how hard it is for me, but I have a certain set of skills that allow me to deal with these things,” he told Pauley. “And I gratefully recognize that optimism is sustainable.”
He said, “If you find something to be grateful for, you can find something to look forward to, and keep going.”
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie will premiere on Apple TV+ on May 12.
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