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Michael J. Fox shares bittersweet update amid ongoing Parkinson's battle

The Back To The Future star was diagnosed in 1991 aged 29

michael j fox© Photo: Getty Images
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
March 15, 2023
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Michael J. Fox shared a bittersweet update about his battle with Parkinson's disease during a screening of his documentary, STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie, at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

The 61-year-old, who was joined by his wife, Tracy Pollan, admitted that while "Parkinson's sucks", he "doesn't have time to feel sorry for himself" as he continues to navigate life with the neurological condition, which he was diagnosed with in 1991.

WATCH: Michael J. Fox shares update on his Parkinson's

Speaking about his battle in a Q&A on Tuesday, he said: "Parkinson's sucks, but it's a great life, so thank you for it. Pity is a benign form of abuse. I can feel sorry for myself, but I don't have time for that.

"There is stuff to be learned from this, so let's do that and move on."

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Chatting about his decision to retire from acting in 2020 due to his declining health, Michael added: "I have no regrets. You do what you have to do, but you do not want to kill yourself. And that's when I stopped."

michael j fox sxsw documentary screening© Photo: Getty Images

Michael discussed his Parkinson's at SXSW

Michael was diagnosed with Parkinson's when he was just 29 years old. The actor had only just married his wife at the time, who he struck up a relationship with on the set of Family Ties in the 1980s.

Reflecting on his diagnosis, Michael previously told CBS Mornings that finding out he had Parkinson's was a challenging and emotional reality.

"So very early in the marriage, she got this dumped on her. And the moment that I told her I was realizing was the last time we cried about it together," he said.

michael j fox and wife tracy pollan sxsw© Photo: Getty Images

Michael was diagnosed shortly after his wedding to Tracy Pollan

"We haven't cried about Parkinson's since. We've just dealt with it and lived our lives. But we cried about it that first time," Michael recalled to host Nate Burleson.

Since taking a break from acting, the star has raised over $1 billion to help find a cure for Parkinson's through his organization, The Michael J. Fox foundation.

There is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, but treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms and maintain a prolonged quality of life for those diagnosed.

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