Always Looking Up

Check out Always Looking Up:  the Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox

MichaelJFoxCanadian born actor Michael J. Fox first walked into American households as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties.  Other roles include Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy, and Mike Flaherty from Spin City.

Fox began to display symptoms of Parkinson's Disease while filming the movie Doc Hollywood in 1990.  His Parkinson's was not diagnosed until the following year.  Fox continued to act and did not publicly announce that he had Parkinson's until 1998.  In 2000 he retired from full time acting.Always Looking UpIn his newest book Always Looking Up:  the Adventures of an Incurable Optimist Fox begins at a point of personal loss--his retirement from the show Spin City.  Through the book he continues to have a sense of humor about himself and his disease.  He has become an advocate for Parkinson's research, more focused on his family and his journey with them, and ultimately has become the face of Parkinson's in America.  He is the founder of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which is responsible for over 145 million dollars of research funds.

Fox also displays a healthy sense of humor about his PD symptoms, describing scene after scene of his symptoms intruding into meetings with the rich and famous. Fox’s PD must be taken as somewhat unusual given its early onset and the frequency with which he has dyskinesic symptoms.  Throughout the book we get Fox’s views on the stem cell controversy, a history of his political efforts to elect politicians in favor of embryonic stem cells research, his disappointment when President Bush restricted research on stem cells and his elation when President Obama lifted that ban.