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Michael J. Fox details hellish nature of Parkinson's and hope for the future in powerful CBS interview
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Michael J. Fox details hellish nature of Parkinson's and hope for the future in powerful CBS interview

Michael J. Fox directly addressed his own mortality and the "hell" of Parkinson's disease in a powerful, much-anticipated interview with Jane Pauley on "CBS Sunday Morning."
"It's banging on the door. It's getting harder. It's getting tougher. Every day gets tougher, but that's the way it is," 61-year-old Michael J. Fox said of life with the progressive, degenerative disease.

"Who do I see about that?" he added, his trademark quick wit and humor fully engaged.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's when he was 29. He has been battling the condition for three decades.

"There’s not many of us that have this disease for 30 years. It sucks. It sucks having Parkinson’s. For some families, it’s a nightmare. It’s a living hell. You have to deal with realities that are beyond most people’s understanding."

For some, the interview may be tough to watch. Fox held nothing back. He was frank and direct about the physical challenges he faces as the nerves in his body slowly die. A clip showing him falling as he's walking along a sidewalk adds visual punctuation to his commentary in the sit-down with Pauley.

Fox described having broken multiple bones, including bones in his elbow, his hand, his face, and both arms.

He explained that falling, which is what caused him to break his hand, is a "big killer" for Parkinson's patients, as is aspirating food and developing pneumonia.

Throughout the interview, Fox was in near-perpetual motion, slightly slumped in his chair.

"All these subtle ways it gets ya'. You don't die from Parkinson's, you die with Parkinson's," Fox said.

"I'm not gonna be 80. I'm not gonna be 80."

On a decidedly positive note, Fox and Pauley discussed a breakthrough in Parkinson's research. A biomarker for the disease has been identified, which could mean people getting diagnosed and treated more quickly.

"This changes everything," Fox said.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has raised $1.5 billion for research. The foundation announced the findings April 13.

Fox will debut "Still" May 12 on Apple TV+. The film, which is about Fox's life, will incorporate "documentary, archival and scripted elements," according to a description provided in the trailer.

"The film will chronicle Fox’s personal and professional triumphs and travails and will explore what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease."

Watch the official trailer for Michael J. Fox's "Still" below.

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