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We’ve long known that Michael J. Fox has been fighting Parkinson’s disease since he announced it in 1998. Considering what he’s faced, he’s still had an air of optimism, but recently he revealed that he had one of his darkest moments in a scary health setback that shook that optimism at its core. Here's the latest from the beloved actor.
Back in 2018, Michael J. Fox discovered he had a noncancerous tumor on his spine, making it difficult for him to walk. He frequently would fall down and eventually decided to undergo a risky surgery on the tumor. While the surgery was successful and he underwent physical therapy to walk again, he later fell down in his kitchen and broke his arm. He told People that event put him in a dark place:
I just snapped. I was leaning against the wall in my kitchen, waiting for the ambulance to come, and I felt like, ‘This is as low as it gets for me.’ It was when I questioned everything. Like, 'I can't put a shiny face on this. There's no bright side to this, no upside. This is just all regret and pain.'
That sounds awful and seriously scary. To make matters worse, on the morning of the fall when he broke his arm and waited for the ambulance, he was scheduled to cameo in a Spike Lee film-- an event he was likely looking forward to. So there were understandably plenty of emotions involved during this moment in time.
Still, while he fell into that dark moment of pain, regret, and doubt in his optimism, he eventually gained it back by clinging to gratitude. He said later in the same interview,
Optimism is really rooted in gratitude. Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance. Accepting that this thing has happened, and you accept it for what it is. It doesn't mean that you can't endeavor to change. It doesn't mean you have to accept it as a punishment or a penance, but just put it in its proper place. Then see how much the rest of your life you have to thrive in, and then you can move on.
Despite his battle with Parkinson’s, Michael J. Fox, who’s probably most known for his role as Marty McFly in Back to the Future, has continued to work on a number of TV and movie projects. He had a major role in The Good Wife and also played Ethan West for a short time on the TV show Designated Survivor.
Of course, most Back to the Future fans wish they could see Michael J. Fox play Marty McFly again in Back to the Future 4. Sadly, the chances of that happening are next to zero. But perhaps we can all grab hold of a little of Michael J. Fox’s optimism and hope it happens anyway.