Lucky Man, a memoir by Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox in Congress

Candice: For the first time in ages I have finished a book.  It wasn’t a long or hard read but it is quite satisfying to have been able to do that after all this time.

I mentioned last week I was reading Michael J. Fox‘s autobiography and what a fan of his I had been growing up.  For those who might not know of him, he stared in the very successful ‘Back to the future’ films, of which there were three.  The comedy is, for those of you who can remember them, that one of them was set in the ‘future’ of 2015 – which is of course next year.  Unfortunately we won’t be driving flying cars by then, but some other part of the film are quite close to the truth (get it on Netflix and see what I mean).  I loved these films growing up, plus other classics such as ‘The Secret of my Success’ and ‘Teen Wolf’.

I always find reading autobiographies interesting as they shine a light on the things that you don’t know about people.  The point, I suppose, but the better ones give you a true insight rather than something sensationalised (how many ‘celebs’ own up to addictions or diseases in their books that just seem to be jumping on the band wagon).  Well in Fox’s case he has something that can’t be made up, Parkinson’s disease.  I remember reading about him having it many years ago and being floored  by this, especially as he was so young.

The book is well written as is jumps from present to past, taking us through the development of his symptoms and his denial, around his moving from home life to being a famous actor.  His rise to fame was fast, and he tells the story of how this can impact on you very well.  He drowned him self in booze and got into serious financial difficulties.

However the Parkinson’s descriptions are the ones that really make you think.  I’ve not seen him in anything for years, the book reminded me he was in ‘Spin City’ a great TV comedy, but he’s been on American TV trying to raise awareness of the disease.  Reading about how it took hold as he turned 30 really makes you think.  He took his opportunities when he could while the disease took hold but that must have been a scary time to see a shake in your hand become something much larger.

If you go on YouTube you can find footage of him presenting to the American government asking for more funding for Parkinsons, I don’t want to watch it as it will ruin my vision of the man I was so besotted with when I grew up.  I’m not saying I am ignoring his disease but I don’t want to burst that bubble.

The book is well worth a read as his approach to the disease now is something that other people should take note.  I suppose it helps that he has money and status unlike others living with it day-to-day but that can’t take away from his positive attitude.

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