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Michael J. Fox Pushes for a Cure for Parkinson's

Michael J Fox at CelebrityValues.comThey say it takes one to know one, and this couldn't be truer in the arena of celebrity foundations. Some of the most effective charities are those backed or formed by a celebrity who has personally experienced a devastating illness and is able to be an effective advocate for research and funding. Michael J. Fox is a prime example of this: He has used his traumatic ordeal with Parkinson's disease to play a forceful role in waging war against this debilitating illness.

Fox, an actor who has been battling Parkinson's most of his adult life, established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in May 2000, shortly after announcing his retirement from the ABC show "Spin City."  In 1998, he publicly disclosed that he had been diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease seven years earlier.

One of Fox's main strategies in his foundation is appearing before Congress on behalf of Parkinson's patients, foregoing his medications that allow him some control over his muscles and providing a shocking eye-opener to the effects of the disease. Fox wholeheartedly believes that if there is a concentrated effort from the Parkinson's community, elected representatives in Washington, D.C., and, most importantly, the general public, researchers will pinpoint the cause of Parkinson's and uncover a cure by 2010.

Michael J. Fox hails from Burnaby, British Columbia. Fox debuted as a professional actor at 15, and at 18 he went on to win the role of lovable conservative Alex P. Keaton on NBC's enormously popular "Family Ties" (1982-1989). During Fox's seven years on the show, he earned three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, making him one of the country's most prominent young actors. Fox married his "Family Ties" co-star, actress Tracy Pollan, in 1988. They have four children. 

While maintaining a busy career in television, Fox became an international film star, appearing in more than a dozen features that showcased his keen ability to shift between comedy and drama.

Fox returned to series television in 1996 with ABC's "Spin City," portraying Michael Flaherty, New York's deputy mayor. He won critical praise, garnering three Golden Globe Awards, one Emmy Award, three Emmy nominations, a GQ Man-of-the-Year Award (in the TV comedy category), a People's Choice Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Though he maintains a strong commitment to his acting career and running the production company Lottery Hill Entertainment, Fox has shifted a good deal of his focus and energies toward The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and its efforts to raise much-needed research funding for and awareness about Parkinson's disease.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

More Michael J Fox at CelebrityValues.comThe foundation is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda. With more than $50 million funded since November 2000, it certainly shows no signs of backing down. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research. Enormous progress toward finding a cure has been made on many neurological fronts, and scientists' understanding of the brain and how disease affects it has increased dramatically. The foundation seeks to hasten progress by awarding grants that help guarantee new and innovative research avenues are thoroughly funded and explored. It has supported more than 185 Parkinson's research projects in 12 countries. 

What You Can Do

The foundation's vision: "The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is committed to the aggressive pursuit of all ethical avenues of research promising improved therapies and ultimately a cure for people living with Parkinson's disease." The foundation provides Parkinson's-related news through its website. With more than 1 million Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s, there is a significant community of patients, family members, caregivers and friends who all share scientists' hope that a cure will be found in the next few years. Find basic resources for and about this growing community. 

Check out the foundation's website for further details on how you can get involved in the fight against Parkinson's disease. The foundation offers a variety of volunteer opportunities and community fund raisers. A financial contribution made to the foundation directly supports promising Parkinson's research and helps ensure that new and innovative research avenues are thoroughly funded and explored. The website also gives you the chance to participate in a

that may be of interest to you or a loved one. In addition, there is an excellent section devoted to all kinds of information related to Parkinson's disease.

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